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University of California Berkley 

University of California Bancroft Library/Berkeley 

Regional Oral History Office 

Max Schmidt Jr. 
Herman Diedrichs 
Bernhard Schmidt 


Interviews Conducted by 
Ruth Teiser 


Max Scheldt 

All literary rights in the manuscript, including 
the right to publish, are reserved to The Bancroft 
Library of the University of California at Berkeley. 
No part of the manuscript may be quoted for publication 
without the written permission of the Director of The 
Bancroft Library of the University of California at 
Berkeley . 

Requests for permission to quote for publication 
should be addressed to the Regional Oral History Office, 
486 Library, and should include identification of the 
specific passages to be quoted, anticipated use of the 
passages, and identification of the user. 


For well over a half century, the Schmidt Lithograph 

Company of San Francisco was one of the great "label houses" 
of the United States. It was established by the German im 
migrant, Max Schmidt, who gave the date of Its founding as 
1873, when he apparently had a partner, Frederick Buehler, 
briefly. The Log of a Cabin Boy, a pamphlet based upon 
Max Schmidt s recollections and published by the company 1n 
1922, gives much accurate information on the history of the 
enterprise, in spite of its joking style. A 1925 pamphlet, 
Dedication Ceremonies, Schmidt Lithograph Company Plant 
Number Two, contains an excellent description of the organ 
ization as it was in that year. 

Shortly after the company was established, Max Schmidt 
was joined in it by his brother, Richard Schmidt. For many 
years they and the younger members of the family held the 
major positions of leadership in the firm. Not until 1964 
was a president drawn from outside the family. In 1966 the 
Schmidt Lithograph Company was merged with Stecher-Traung 
Lithograph Company of San Francisco and Rochester, New York, 
to become the Stecher-Traung-Schmidt Corporation. 

Six Schmidt Lithograph Company men have given inter 
views. In this first of two volumes are the recollections of 
three men of the generation following Max and Richard Schmidt 

In later years he often gave the date as 1872. 


They are Max Schmidt Jr., nephew of Max Schmidt; Bernhard H. 
Schmidt, son of Richard Schmidt; and Herman Dledrlchs, an 
employee for fifty years. In the second volume are the 
recollections of three men of the generation succeeding them: 
Ernest Wuthmann, Jr., a grandson of Max Schmidt; Lorenz 
Schmidt, a grandson of Richard Schmidt; and Stewart Morris, 
a company executive married to the daughter of Max Schmidt Jr. 
Their interviews concern in large part the company s recent 
years . 

Much related material has been deposited in the Bancroft 
Library by members of the Schmidt family. It includes 
forty-nine albums of samples of the company s work, clippings, 
and correspondence since 1906; a file of letters written to 
Max Schmidt following publication of The Log of a Cabin Boy, 
and a collection of photographs. 

Nearly ninety of the photographs are views of the com 
pany s plant and offices, in two original albums. One Is 
dated 1903 (when during a brief merger the firm was operating 
under the name Mutual Label and Lithograph Company), the 
other 1909, following rebuilding of the plant destroyed in 
April, 1906. They form a remarkable record of a large litho 
graphing and printing establishment at a transitional stage 
of the industry: as lithographic stones were giving way to 
metal plates, as multi-color presses were beginning to come 
into use, but before direct lithography had given way to 
offset and before hand transfer had given way to photographic 
processes . 


Adding immeasurably to the value and Interest of the 
photographs are the identifications, explanations, and com 
ments on them by the three men whose interviews are contained 
in this volume. Together they form a valuable and unique 
record. The index to this volume is by extension a partial 
Index to the photographs. 

Ruth Teiser 

1 September 1968 
Regional Oral History Office 
Room 486 The Bancroft Library 
University of California 
Berkeley, California 

Books and Printing in the San Francisco Bay Area 
Interviews Completed by September, 1968 

Brother Antoninus Brother Antoninus: Poet, Printer, and 

Re ligious 

Edwin Grabhorn Recollections of the Grabhorn Press 

Jane Grabhorn The Colt Press 

Robert Grabhorn Fine Printing and the Grabhorn Press 

Warren R. Howell Two San Francisco Bookmen 

Haywood Hunt Recollections of San Francisco Printers 

Lawton Kennedy A Life in Printing 

Oscar Lewis Literary San Francisco 

Bernhard Schmidt, Herman Diedrlchs, Max Schmidt, Jr. The 
Schmidt Lithograph Company, Vol. I 

Albert Sperisen San Francisco Printers, 1925-65 




Recollections of Early Years 2 

Mutual Label and Lithograph Company, 1903 

Photograph Album 10 


Early Career at Schmidt Lithograph Company 21 

1906 to 1908 28 

Company People and Operations 36 

Mutual Label and Lithograph Company, 1903 

Photograph Album 56 

Schmidt Lithograph Company, 1909 Photograph 

Album 86 


The Family and the Company 141 

Lithography and Letterpress Techniques 150 

The Company and Its People 158 

Mutual Label and Lithograph Company, 1903 

Photograph Album 165 

Schmidt Lithograph Company, 1909 Photograph 

Album 174 

Miscellaneous Photographs 200 

Max Schmidt Jr. was born in Germany in 1882 and was 
brought to this country in 1898 by his uncle, Max Schmidt, 
to live in his household. His name was originally Max Henry 
Schmidt, but he was generally known as Max Schmidt Jr. or 
"German Max." The latter distinguished him from his cousin 
Max A. Schmidt who was known as "Electrical Max" because he 
was for some years in charge of the Schmidt Lithograph 
Company s electrical and mechanical maintenance. 

Like many members of the family, Max Schmidt Jr. 
spent almost his entire working life at Schmidt Lithograph 
Company, beginning before the turn of the century. For many 
years he had charge of what was known as the "factory 
office." He retired in 1955. 

The following interview was given on two occasions. 
The first was in the San Francisco apartment of Mr. Max 
Schmidt Jr. on April 27, 1967, the second at the Atherton home 
of his daughter, Mrs. Stewart Norris, and Mr. Norris on 
May 5, 1967. Mr. Schmidt had not been well; his memory was 
at times poor, at times good. He and Mr. and Mrs. Norris 
read the transcript of his interview. They made few changes 
but filled in an occasional phrase and added a few names. 
The interviewer did some editing for continuity. 


Recollections of Early Years 

Teiser: When were you born? 

M.S. Jr. I was born June 9, 1882. Opposite Cologne across 
the river. Deutz. It s now a part of Cologne. 

I ve been fortunate all my life. I was presi 
dent of the California Golf Club. I didn t have 
a lot of money, but I knew a good many people. I 
was president of the Printing House Craftsmen. 
I said, "I m not a printing house craftsman. I m 
a lithographer." But they made me president all 
the same. I think it was due a good deal to 
Haywood Hunt. 

Teiser: How long were you president of the Printing House 

M.S. Jr. I think two terms. Haywood Hunt would remember. 

Teiser: How old were you when you came to San Francisco? 

M.S. Jr. Fifteen or sixteen. I came in 1898. 

Teiser: You d already gone to school. 

M.S. Jr. Oh, yes. I went to the Realgymnasium. I learned 
French. Dr. Uthoff taught us. I had six or eight 
years of Latin. I spoke French. 

My mother had eight children. My father died 

San Francisco chapter, International Club of 
Printing House Craftsmen. 


See also 1967 Haywood Hunt interview this series, 

Recollections of San Francisco Printers. 


M.S. Jr. when the youngest one was born. Six boys and two 

girls. Brother Kurt was the only one who made much 
money. He later came out here with $10,000 and 
invested it in the Schmidt Lithograph Company. 

Teiser: You were the only one who came to this country as 
a young man? 

M.S. Jr. Yes. Shipped over. 

My father had charge of the railroad shops in 
Osnabruck. I saw them as a youngster. They were 
big. I said to Dad, "What are you?" He said, 
"I m a graduate of the University of Charlottenburg. " 
I didn t even graduate from the Real gymnasi urn 
before I came out here, because I saw that Mother 
had a lot of trouble. We had enough to eat, a 
big garden, all the fruit we wanted and so forth. 
Each boy did all the physical jobs. My oldest brother 
I disliked very much. My brother Kurt, I admired 

Uncle Schmidt paid my passage out here. It was 
third class. But I paid him back. Gradually. It 
took years. On my first trip back to Europe, I 
think it was in 1906, I found out--my mother told 
me that I was shipped out here because Aunt 
Schmidt--Tante Schmidt lost four children in one 

*Max Schmidt 


M.S. Jr. week. I was to take the place. I never asked 

to come, but I ve never regretted it. I ve made 
three or four trips to Europe and every time I come 
back I whistle, "California Here I Come." 

I always worked for what I got. Some of the 
boys swiped things, but I never did. I bought 
every share of stock in the company that I got. 
I made everything I got except the $1500 Uncle 
Schmidt left me. 

Teiser: You must have worked hard to learn your trade. 

M.S. Jr. Yes, I had to work hard. I was a bum artist. 

[Laughter] I learned transfer work at the H. S. 
Crocker Co. Uncle Schmidt bought out H. S. Crocker. 
They had a small department, lithograph department. 
Old man Pohlmann [Theodore Pohlmann?] --he s been 
dead now for years he was the manager of that 
department. I liked Old Man Pohlmann. He was a 
capable man. He was a good lithographer, but he 
drank too much. It wasn t the banker Crocker who 
owned the company. I think Schmidt saved it at 
some point. They [Crocker] practically lost it. 

"Dad told me just recently that his mother said he 
was to be adopted by Max Schmidt." Barbara Schmidt 
Norris . 


M.S. Jr. Gus Soderwall, a Swedehe was the best platemaker. 

A darned good man. He taught me the transfer work. 

He was my boss for several years. He went with 

Mutual* He knew the business from A to Z. 

They imported him from Europe. 
Teiser: You were a transfer man? 
M.S. Jr. A transfer man. I ran the press too. There was a 

big strike and they taught me to run a press. 
Teiser: A transfer man worked with plates? 
M.S. Jr. Making plates, yes. First with stone. Then the 

offset presses came in and the deep printing [deep 

etch plates] because they ran so much faster. 
Teiser: So then you went to plates? 
M.S. Jr. Yes. I learned on stone first. The stone came 

from Bavaria, Germany. 

I didnt get much money. I saved my money. 


Norris: I remember you told me about where you first went 

to work, on Leidesdorff Street. 
M.S. Jr. Oh, yes, for Oscar Schneider. He was an artist. 

Every time he wanted a stone or anything like that, 
he d say, "You go over to Schmidt Lithograph and 
ask them for a stone." I says, "Supposing they 
don t?" And he d say, "Oh, they won t refuse it." 

*Mutual Label and Lithograph Company 


Teiser: Did you get them? 

M.S. Jr. Yes, I did. 

Teiser: You worked there before you went to Crocker? 

M.S. Jr. Yes. Schneider made his wife pick flowers and sell 
them on Sundays. He stood at the station in Mill 
Valley and sold flowers. He was a clever artist. 
He did work for Schmidt Lithograph Company. 

When I worked at H. S. Crocker Company, they 
had stone presses. I didn t have any training, 
but they were all nice to me because I was the 
boss s nephew. 

Teiser: H. S. Crocker and Schmidt Lithograph Company merged 
to create Mutual Label and Lithograph? 

M.S. Jr. One more--Di ckman-Jones Company. Dickman was an 
artist. The Bohemian Club was lucky to have him 
[as a member]. Uncle Schmidt gave me all the train 
ing he could. Uncle Schmidt himself was a good 
engraver. Schmidt took over Di ckman-Jones because 
it lost too much money. The Crocker Bank backed 
Schmidt in that. My brother Kurt came out here. 
Uncle Schmidt needed money. Kurt came out here 
with $10,000 and bought $10,000 worth of stock and 
paid cash for it. 

Teiser: In Schmidt Lithograph Company? 

M.S. Jr. No, Mutual. The next year he came back and sold 1t. 

M.S. Jr. He worked for Schiller in Osnabruck. Uncle 

Schmidt bought it back. I went to work in the 
transfer department, then in the factory. I 
ran the [Schmidt Lithograph Co.] factory office. 
Cousin Carl [Schmidt] was sales manager. Carl 
helped a lot. Cousin Ben [Bernhard H. Schmidt] 
ran part of the factory. He and I are still 
good friends. We have lunch once a week, not 
because of Schmidt but because we re retired 


Dick [Richard Schmidt Jr.] was a good man. I 

enjoyed him. He helped Schmidt [Lithograph Company] 
more than anyone. Mr. [Max Sr.] Schmidt s 
brother-in-law, Mr. [Carl] Rahsskopff was a scien 
tific instrument maker. He didn t make enough 
money in his business, so Tante Schmidt said [to 
Max Schmidt Sr.], "He doesn t come home bringing 
any money." Uncle Schmidt said, "I ll see that he 
gets money." He was a good mechanic. 

Teiser: He was given work at Schmidt Lithograph Company? 

M.S. Jr. Yes. He was a hard worker. He made improvements 
in presses. He could do anything. But then he 
became too old and he couldn t work any more. 
Uncle Schmidt didn t pay him much, but he saved his 
life though. He was married to Tante Schmidt s 
sister. She was a good cook but that s about all, 
Tante Schmidt. 

Cn n f Mav 


Teiser: You lived in their home? 

M.S. Jr. Yes, but I paid. I ve still got the receipts to 
show that I paid Uncle Schmidt everything back. 

Teiser: You paid board and room? 

M.S. Jr. Yes. I m proud that I paid. 

Teiser: Was it a good home for a young man? 

M.S. Jr. A good home, yes. When Uncle Schmidt died, I got 

fifteen hundred dollars. I asked somebody, "What d 
I do for that?" He said, "Your grandfather helped 
Uncle Schmidt. He helped him out." 

I joined the Signal Corps, Company B, in the 
Spanish-American War. Edgar Lighter and Sullivan 
got me in. But I never went to war. But I m 
considered a veteran. When war was declared, the 
doctor told me I was not to go. 

Teiser: What did you do here in San Francisco as a young 

M.S. Jr. Well, I played baseball. I played every Saturday 

morning at Golden Gate Park (called Recreation Park) 
I was a member of a baseball team. And Sunday 
mornings I went over to Oakland, had my lunch--paid 
for my own lunch--and came back on the boat. We 
played football at Eighth and Harrison, and I 
enjoyed the game. Uncle Schmidt helped us in that. 
Cousin Ben and Cousin Dick were good football 
players. Ben played at Lick School. Cousin Dick 


M.S. Jr. played at San Rafael High School. We played 
football at Sixteenth and Folsom. 

The Navy players came and they saw us and 
invited us over to play them in Vallejo. I ll 
never forget that. We were really proud of that. 
It rained to beat the band, and we didn t even 
have shoes. Uncle Schmidt paid for the boat that 
took us there. It was very nice of him. By that 
time he had money. They took us all there by 
boat to Vallejo, and they beat the tar out of us. 
It was due to the rain. Some captain said, "Don t 
worry about that. Our players are worse than you 
are." There were 2600 spectators. 

Teiser: Did Uncle Schmidt buy you uniforms? 

M.S. Jr. Oh, no, we paid for our own. 

Teiser: You speak without any German accent. Did you go 
to school when you came here? 

M.S. Jr. Night school, to learn bookkeeping. [Laughter] 

Then I became a lithographer. I had two years of 
English in school before I came here. English and 
French . 

Teiser: You must have been a good athlete. 

M.S. Jr. Husky, yes. Then afterwards I became a good boxer. 
I learned at the Olympic Club. 

Teiser: Did you have to defend yourself? Were the men 
who worked with you rough? 


M.S. Jr. No, they were nice. They were nice to me because I 
was the boss s nephew maybe [laughter]. No, they 
were nice. They were unionizing then, but I never 
had to join. Gus Soderwall helped me. He was a 
real union man. Gus fixed it up, and I was never 
troubled. I was square with them. 

Teiser: Was the lithographers union as strong then as it 
became later? 

M.S. Jr. It was stronger when I first came here. 

Mutual Label & Litho. Co. 
1903 Photograph Album 

Teiser: Do you recognize the people in this picture on 

page 2 [of the album titled "Mutual Label & Litho. 
Co., San Francisco, Cal . Christmas 1903"]? 

M.S. Jr. Uncle [Carl] Rahsskopff, scientific instrument 
maker, is the one with the cap [left]. He was 
Uncle Schmidt s brother-in-law. Next to him is 
Richard Schmidt [Sr.] He was a graduate of the 
University of Charlottenburg. Jones, of Dickman- 
Jones; he was backed by Slosst He used to be an 
engraver for Uncle Schmidt. Henry Wehr; he was 
raised here. Uncle Schmidt. That s the private 
office of Schmidt Lithograph Company, Second and 
Bryant. Rahsskopff was a very good man, but he 
didn t know how to handle money. 

*George Jones. Louis Sloss, Jr. had been secretary 
of Dickman-Jones . 

Left to right: Carl Rahsskopff, Richard Schnldt ST., 
George Jones, Henry Wehr, Max Schaldt - 1903 


Teiser: What is this office, on page 3? 

M.S. Jr. That s Gamble [Gamba?, at right]. He didn t 

didn t know anything about the business. Uncle 
Schmidt threw him out or something like that. 
This was the main office. There s an office boy. 

Teiser: Is that Uncle Schmidt in the cap? 

M.S. Jr. Yes. That s Gussie Fortrida over there. No, not 
Fortrida, a Spanish name. Tanforan. She was a 
good worker, but she could swear like a trooper. 

Teiser: Is this the office too, on page 4? 

M.S. Jr. This is the entrance of the office. 

Teiser: The people on page 5? 

M.S. Jr. These are two fellows that ran the factory office- 
Oscar Heath and Max Schmidt. 

Teiser: Heath s on the left. Max Schmidt is standing oh, 
that s you! Who is the second man from the left, 
in the derby? 

M.S. Jr. Henry Zellerbach. 

Teiser: What was he doing there? 

M.S. Jr. Selling paper. The man in the cap is Uncle Rahs- 

skopff. Uncle Richard was the boss here, and I was 
his assistant in the factory office. That s Uncle 
Richard at the desk. He was a graduate of the 
University of Charlottenburg . His father was a 
doctor. He was sent over here to Schmidt Lithograph 
Company to learn the trade. He made good. I guess 


M.S. Jr. it wasn t a job he liked. I used to know Andy 
Moyles, an Irishman. He didn t like him [Uncle 
Richard?] because he bragged too much. I got well 
acquainted with Andy Moyles. He swore like a 
trooper. He was foreman of the transfer department, 
and I think they paid him $135 a week or something 
like that. A big guy, but I liked him. I really 
enjoyed him. This man [to the left of Rahsskopff] 
was an Alameda man. This was Uncle Richard s 

Henry Zellerbach was a nice guy. I liked him. 
But the rest of them didn t like him because he 
watched the nickels. He took us out to lunch- 
Oscar Heath [and myself]. 

Teiser: Here is page 6. What office is that? 

M.S. Jr. Lithographic artists department. 

Teiser: Here s page 7. 

M.S. Jr. I know this fellow. Bill Morrow. He s a paper 
hanger. He was one of the Mission bosses. 

Teiser: What were the women doing there? 

M.S. Jr. Hanging paper. They hung it by hand. Nothey 
put it in trays here. But they also hung it by 

Teiser: Here s page 8. 

M.S. Jr. They re the wood engravers. That s the head wood 
engraver [on the left]. He came from the East. 
These kids are errand boys. 


Teiser: Page 9. What department 1s that? 

M.S. Jr. I guess box makers. 

Teiser: Page 10. 

M.S. Jr. Transfer machines. D1ck Heinrich. His father 

was an engineer. I ll say this with due respect- 
he was a pal of Uncle Richard s, and Uncle Richard 
kept him sober. Dick Heinrich [left] was a good 
transfer man. 

Teiser: Who is the man on the right? 

M.S. Jr. I ve forgotten his name. He came from Los Angeles. 
The fellows didn t like him because he considered 
himself so much better than Dick Heinrich, who 
learned his trade at the Schmidt Lithograph Company 
and showed him up. 

Teiser: Here s page 11. What s that? 

M.S. Jr. This is the transfer department, and these are 

transfer machines here. You put the squeeze down 
on the plate and then wet it once in a while. That s 
the only way you could. Now it s all done by photo 
graphy. George Caldwell [right] was a San Jose boy, 
very religious. He had a good education. He went 
back east and was a big shot somewhere. 

Teiser: Page 12. 

M.S. Jr. That s the transfer department. Harry Anderson, or 
something like that [right]. He was a San Francisco 
boy. Good transferer; learned his trade at Schmidt. 


Teiser: Here s page 13. 

M.S. Jr. This is the transfer department. 

Teiser: Page 14. 

M.S. Jr. George Caldwell. That s not the transfer depart 
ment. That s a printing press. I don t recognize 
anything else. 

Teiser: Page 15. 

M.S. Jr. Box department. Klein. 

Teiser: The fellow with the cap in the foreground? 

M.S. Jr. Yes. These are old presses, cutting presses. Ed 
Pierce [left foreground with moustache]; he had 
charge of the box department. 

Teiser: Here s 16. 

M.S. Jr. Those are aluminum presses. We used to call them 
aluminum presses. Made by the Aluminum Press Com 
pany. They used aluminum plates. Later on there 
were offset presses. 

Teiser: Page 17. 

M.S. Jr. Charlie and Louis Traung, the big shots [standing 
at left in foreground looking at sheet]. Louis 
was foreman [right, holding sheet of paper] and 
Charlie was his brother. They were good pressmen, 
but I won t say the other. 

Teiser: And they later established Traung Lithograph? 

M.S. Jr. Zellerbach*established that. 

Zellerbach Paper Company according to Herman 
Diedrichs. See page 42. 


Teiser: Zellerbach s money? 

M.S. Jr. Yes. Louis was a good pressman, Charlie was a good 
talker. One of the Traungs, Louie s daughter, when 
he quit us, she came over and said, "Max, Father 
wants to know whether you can work for us?" I 
said, "You mean for Zellerbach." She said, "It s 
not Zellerbach." She bawled me out. I said, "I m 
going to stay at Schmidt." I enjoyed her. 

Teiser: Here s page 18. 

M.S. Jr. These are printing presses, I think. Miehle presses. 
That s Uncle Richard [in suit at right]. He never 
had anything to do with the printing presses, but 
he was an engineer by profession. 

Teiser: Do you recognize the man in the derby with the 

M.S. Jr. That s Henry Zellerbach. I liked Henry very much. 

Teiser: Page 19. 

M.S. Jr. Aluminum presses. See these big cylinders and so 

Teiser: Were women press feeders? 

M.S. Jr. Yes, that s right. And they got good money for 
those days. 

Teiser: Page 20. 

M.S. Jr. Lithographic pressroom. There s Ed Pierce, foreman 

of the box department [in the apron, near the center] 
Good worker. 


Tei ser: Here s page 21 . 

M.S. Jr. These are aluminum presses. All local boys. The 

girls are feeders. 
Teiser: Page 22. 
M.S. Jr. Job department. Or was it the embossing department? 

No, job department. Reprinting department. That 

was Dick Ellis [left] . 
Teiser: Page 23. 
M.S. Jr. This fellow looks f ami 1 iar--Charl ie Farrell [right, 

with moustache]. Charlie Farrell was a printing 

pressman. He was a good pressman. He was a nice 

man too. 

Teiser: Page 24. 
M.S. Jr. Charlie Farrell. 

Teiser: Oh, same fellow, with the moustache there. 
M.S. Jr. This is the same pressroom the Miehle pressroom 

You may find some corrections. I was not an expert. 

But I was a feeder for a while. They paid good 

wages . 

Teiser: This is page 25. 
M.S. Jr. Cutting department. 
Teiser: Here s page 26. What is that? 
M.S. Jr. All dies. Die cutting. 
Teiser: Did women run die cutting machines? 
M.S. Jr. No, they fixed the sheets for some cutter. 

Coating and drying oil can labels - 1903 


Teiser: Here s page 27. What department was that? 

M.S. Jr. Cutting department. 

Teiser: Page 28. 

M.S. Jr. That s Ed Pierce [in the overalls, center]. To the 

best of my knowledge, he had charge of the die 

cutting, but that s not die cutting. I can t 

recognize that. 
Teiser: This is page 29. 
M.S. Jr. Paul Nye [left end], Electrotyping . Nye s brother 

was foreman of the machine shop. He swiped a lot 

of things. He was accused by Rahsskopff of being 

a crook, but he was a hard worker. 
Teiser: Here s page 30. 
M.S. Jr. Here s the machine shop. This fellow was a college 

graduate, but he was fired out of college. He came 

from the East. [Man to the right] 
Tei ser : Page 31 is.... 
M.S. Jr. Electrical department. 
Teiser: The power plant? 
M.S. Jr. Yes. 

Teiser: Here s page 32. What department is that? 
M.S. Jr. Must be the cutting department or something like that 
Teiser: Page 33. 
M.S. Jr. Paper department. Paper hanging department. You 

know they had to take the paper and fix it and let 


M.S. Jr. air in between, and hang it up. Now It s all done 
by machinery. 

Teiser: Here s page 34. 

M.S. Jr. Seasoning. I might be wrong on this. 

Teiser: Here s page 35. Is that part of the seasoning 
department too? 

M.S. Jr. Yes. Hanging up paper and . . . 

Teiser: Page 36. 

M.S. Jr. That s varnishing. 

Teiser: Where was the building shown on page 1? 

M.S. Jr. Second and Bryant. The presses were on the ground 

Teiser: What did you use letterpress for? 

M.S. Jr. Salmon labels for Alaska Packers. 

Teiser: Why didn t you use lithography? 

M.S. Jr. Oh, we didn t have any presses big enough. 

Teiser: Oh, you couldn t run them in big sheets? 

M.S. Jr. No, you couldn t. Later you could, but you had to 
have separate blocks then. But we had our own 
electrotype department. The bindery was over on 
this side [right], paper coating up in the top 
floor. And the artists department was on this 
Inside of the top floor. 

Teiser: What was on the second floor? 

M.S. Jr. Transfer department, and the office, and some other 


M.S. Jr. departments. 

Teiser: What was in the three-story section at the right? 

M.S. Jr. Bindery on the third floor, on the second floor 

the box department, and on the lower floor Ink 

department and so forth. 
Teiser: Well, thank you for going through that album. It s 

very Interesting. 
M.S. Jr. It s interesting to me too. 


Herman Diedrichs was born in San Francisco 1n 
June, 1887, and grew up in the Mission District near the 
Schmidt Lithograph Company building at Second and Bryant 
Streets. He first went to work there in 1902, and soon 
after, as he recounted in his interview, became a "fly 
boy." Thereafter he progressed to press feeder to pressman 
to pressroom superintendent, a position he held at the time 
of his retirement in 1959. He was a friend of Max Schmidt, 
Jr. and other Schmidt family members of his generation. 

This interview took place in Mr. Diedrichs 1 home 
in San Francisco June 6, June 9 and June 13, 1967. On 
October 9 of that same year Mr. Diedrichs died. He did not 
read the transcript of the interview. Editing by the 
interviewer was confined to deleting some irrelevant 
questions and some conversational repetitions. 



Early Career at Schmidt Lithograph Company 

Teiser: When did you start with the Schmidt Lithograph 

Diedrichs: I started in 1902. 

Teiser: What was your first position? 

Diedrichs: Well, you can understand, 1902, it s a good many 
years ago. [Laughter] Well, to give you the 
history of it: I was born and raised within a 
stone s throw of the company. Schmidt Lithograph 
Company was on the corner of Second and Bryant 
Streets and a little alley called Stanley Place. 
Right opposite to them, across the street, was 
the Lachman and Jacobi winery. It had been 
there for a good many years. I was born and 
raised right in that neighborhood. So I went to 
school at St. Brendan s School, which was part 
of the Sisters of Mercy, you know. It was on 
Fremont and Harrison Streets. And they [the 
Sisters of Mercy] were the attendants at St. 
Mary s Hospital, and St. Mary s Hospital was 
right across the street from my home. It was 
destroyed in the fire. It was dynamited. Of 
course, I was brought up and raised there. I 


Diedrichs: left school when I was about fourteen, and I 
went to work for the Emporium as a cash boy 
about 1900. I stayed there for about a year and 
a half. And I got a job over at the Schmidt 
Lithograph Company. It was right across the 
street from where I lived. 

Teiser: Did you know anyone in the company? 

Diedrichs: Oh, yes. There was a Mr. Pierce who used to run 
the box department. He was a friend of my 
father s . 

Teiser: Yes, I think his picture is in one of the 
albums . 

Diedrichs: So I got there, and was there about a month or 
month and a half and I got a case of smallpox. 
It all developed that about the time I left the 
Emporium there were a couple of cases of smallpox 
there, and I imagine I caught it from there. So 
I was out in the pesthouse for about a month and 
a half. 

Teiser: Where was it then? 

Diedrichs: Right in back of the county hospital. 

Teiser: Oh, the San Francisco General Hospital? 

Diedrichs: Yes. 

Teiser: On the same site as at present? 

Diedrichs: Yes. It was just in back of that. So, anyhow 


Diedrichs: when I got over the sickness, I came back to 
the Schmidt Lithograph Company, and my job 1n 
the box department was taken. So I was sent 
down to work for Mr. Louis Traung in the press 
room. I started in there as what they call a fly 
boy. I used to carry sheets to the bronzer and 
help around the presses. I was there for a 
short time and some of the boys that were feeding 
presses quit. They d go out and work in other 
shops. So right away Louis Traung put me on a 
press as a feeder. I was feeding a press for 
about two or three years. We had a strike down 
there, went out on strike for more money. 

Teiser: The whole city or just the Schmidt plant? 

Diedrichs: The whole city. I was a charter member of the 
first feeders union established here in San 

Teiser: What was it affiliated with? 

Diedrichs: It was a printers union. You might have heard 
of Ed [Edward D.] McGinity. He was president of 
the feeders union at that time. They took the 
lithograph feeders into the printing feeders 
union. We went out for more money. I think 
we were getting about $6 a week at the time, 
feeding presses. So we got a raise to $9 a week, 


Diedrichs: and $12 a week, and $15 a week. So I was 

feeding a $9-a-week press. As I say, some of 
the boys quit for other jobs. We were out on 
strike for a short time and went back. We got 
our demands, you know. 

We were under the printing feeders. It 
finally developed that they had enough members 
from the lithograph establishments around town 
to form a lithograph feeders union . We finally 
got a charter and we pulled away from the print 
ing feeders and a lithograph feeders union. I 
was a charter member of that. Then there was 
a pressmen s union, local number 17. Of course, 
when I got to be a pressman I was in the press 
men s union. In 1922 we had a strike in the 
lithograph business, and all pressmen and feeders, 
and everyone else, were out on strike. I was 
employed at that time with the Schmidt Lithograph 
Company. And we were out for eight months. 

Teiser: Was the whole plant down for eight months? 

Diedrichs: No, they hired other help. 

Teiser: Oh, they did? 

Diedrichs: Yes, eight months we were out on strike. At the 
time I was married and had three children. The 
union paid you ten dollars a week. And they [the 


Diedrichs: company] didn t want you to accept it. They 
[the union] finally lost the strike, finally 
lost out. Two or three years after that, they 
organized what they called the Amalgamated 
Li thographers 1 Union , and I was a charter member 
of that. That s still in existence. 

Teiser: To go back to your days as a feederwhen you 

say you were feeding a $9-a-week press, did your 
wage depend upon the size of the press? 

Diedrichs: That s right. 

Teiser: What size press was a $9-a-week? 

Diedrichs: The $9-a-week was 28 by 42. 

Teiser: What kind of a press was it? 

Diedrichs: A stone press. 

Teiser: What was the biggest stone press? 

Diedrichs: They used to come 48 inches. 

Teiser: Forty-eight by what? 

Diedrichs: About 26 by 48, something like that. 

Teiser: A heavy stone. 

Diedrichs: Yes, that s right. Oh, they were large. It used 
to take two men to lift them in the press. But 
anyhow, I was feeding for a few months, and I 
finally got elevated to the aluminum press at 
that time. We had stone presses and aluminum 
presses at that time. Not until after the fire 


Diedrichs: did we have the offset press. 

Teiser: Was the aluminum press a direct litho press? 

Diedrichs: A direct litho press, yes. Where it got the 

name "aluminum" was the plates they used on the 
presses at that time were of aluminum metal. 
They were rotary presses, and all stone presses 
were flatbed presses. A flatbed press would 
print a sheet and then go out and ink up the 
form again and come back and print another sheet. 
But the rotary presses kept going around. These 
aluminum plates were made for the rotary presses. 

Teiser: Did you make them in the plant? 

Diedrichs: Yes. They didn t make the metal, but they 

made the plates in the plant. It was all hand 
transfer at that time. 

Teiser: The aluminum plates were hand-transferred? 

Diedrichs: That s right, all hand-transferred. So I was 
feeding the aluminum press for about a year or 
so--two years and Louis Traung came to me one 
day and said, "There s a chance for you to get 
an apprenticeship here." But he said, "I can t 
pay you $15 a week to start with. I ll pay you 
$11. It s a chance for you to get ahead." So 
I accepted the job. I said, "I ll take the 
chance." So I was apprenticed, and I was running 


Diedrichs: the stone press for aboutwell, the fire was 

1906, and I was running the stone press then. 
Teiser: How old were you? 
Diedrichs: In 1906. . . when I left school I was fourteen. 

Oh, I was about sixteen or seventeen years old. 
Teiser: That was a responsible job for a young fellow, 

wasn t it? 
Diedrichs: Yes. I was made an apprentice pressman by 

Louis Traung. He was foreman down there, and 

his brother worked there too. 
Teiser: What was Louis Traung like? 
Diedrichs: A very nice man. They were two nice men, but 

Louis Traung was the best of the two brothers. 

They started in down on Main Street, you know, 

long before I got there. 
Teiser: With Schmidt Lithograph? 
Diedrichs: That s right. 

I served my time as an apprentice, and a short 

time after we came to San Francisco from Oakland-- 

you know we went over there after the fire--you 

know the Schmidt Lithograph Company moved to 


1906 to 1908 

Teiser: Yes. Tell me your recollections of the day of 
the fire, and what happened then. Did you still 
live near? 

Diedrichs: Yes. My home was destroyed by the fire. 

Teiser: Where were you? You were in bed I suppose, at 
the time of the first quakes. 

Diedrichs: Yes. And I got up as usual and after all the 
excitement, went over to the shop. Everything 
was normal over there. Everybody was running 
around and all excited. 

Teiser: They weren t working, were they? 

Diedrichs: No. There was nothing to do, so we sent every 
body home that showed up for work that morning. 

Teiser: Was Max Schmidt, Sr., there? 

Diedrichs: Yes, yes. Ben was there. The whole Schmidt 

family was there that morning. But, as I say, 
the fire was getting so bad that about four or 
five o clock in the afternoon they dynamited 
a lot of buildings down there. 

Teiser: The same afternoon? 

Diedrichs: That s right. The first day. My wife worked 

1n the shop. She was a hand feeder down there. 
That s how I met her. We were going together at 
the time and she suggested that I go with her 


Diedrichs: folks to where they were going. They lived 

across the street from the Del Monte mill; you 
might have heard of that, down on Brannan Street. 
I forgot to mention that I was an orphan, since 
I was about three or four years old. I lived 
with my aunt, and she raised me. 

So, at that time, I went with my wife. There 
was a truck that was moving some of their be 
longings out to Bayview. way out to Bayview. 
We went out there while the fire was raging, 
thinking we could come back to our homes again. 
In the meantime, they were dynamited. So that 
was the end of that. 

Teiser: Both your home and your wife s family s home? 

Diedrichs: They were burned. But the [Schmidt Company] 
buildings were dynamited to save the property 
around there. 

Teiser: Was much taken out of the Schmidt plant at that 

Diedrichs: Well, to tell you the truth, I didn t stay around 
long enough to find out. The company employed 
some of the help to clean up some of the debris 
after the fire, to keep them busy, you know. 

Teiser: Did you go to work on the cleaning up? 


Diedrichs: No. I only stayed out in Bayview with these 
friends of my wife s for about two weeks. 
I had an aunt up in Shelton, Washington. She 
heard about the disaster, so she sent for me and 
my sister to come up there and stay with her. So 
I took a trip up to Shelton, and I was up there 
for about two or three months. Then I wrote to 
my boss, Louis Traung. I heard that they were 
moving over to Oakland. He sent me a letter, 
told me to come back to work. So I went back 
to work, in Oakland, for the company. 

Teiser: I have been told something of this, but I still 
don t understand how as specialized a company as 
Schmidt could have started operation in anybody 
else s plant. Where was the plant there in 

Diedrichs: It was on Fifth and Adeline. It was a box fac 
tory. The old man [Max Schmidt] bought out this 
box factory.* They saved some of the equipment, 
I mean they rebuilt some of the equipment from 
the fire. 

Teiser: From the San Francisco plant? 

Diedrichs: That s right. They moved some of it over there 
and got it running. 

Teiser: I see. That s how they did it. 

_ _ _ __ . _ . _ 

Wempe Brothers 


Diedrichs: I forget now. There were three or four stone 

presses and about four aluminum presses --d1 rect 
presses. And they ran three shifts on them, 
right around the clock. 

Teiser: What kind of work was there to be done then? 

Diedrichs: Mostly labels. We specialized in labels at that 
time . 

Teiser: And the canning industry wasn t upset by the 
earthquake, I suppose, so much? 

Diedrichs: Well, they did labels for all over back east; 

not only in California, but all over the country. 
They have offices in Chicago, New York, and all 
over the country. 

Teiser: I didn t understand how they could just move 
into a plant in Oakland and go on. Had they 
rescued designs, for instance? Had they rescued 

Diedrichs: They had a vault under the sidewalk on Bryant 
Street where they used to keep what they call 
the original stones, the original designs. You 
know all this work was hand-transferred and rolled 
up on a roller and transferred. Of course, you 
understand what lithographing is: they print 
from here then print a dozen 1 ayout--f ifty 
labels on each sheet from one original. 


Teiser: You transfer the impression over and over and 
over again? 

Diedrichs: That s right. In other words, a hand transferer-- 
he used to take these originals and pull im 
pressions of them, one at a time. And when 
he d get as many as was necessary to make a 
whole form, they would be stuck up on a sheet, 
then hand transfered. They d go to a transfer 
press. This would be the plate, and this design, 
all the designs on here, would be put over here 
like this and transfered. 

Teiser: Placed on top of it? 

Diedrichs: Yes, go on through a machine and transfered onto 
there. These all had to be processed after that. 

Teiser: So in the end the one design was etched many 
times into the plate, or the stone--the same 
thing side by side and up and down. 

Diedrichs: Yes. 

Teiser: The same for plates? 

Diedrichs: That s right. Only the difference now is they 
don t hand transfer them any more. This is all 
done by photocomposing , all photographs. 

Teiser: With a step-and-repeat machine? 

Diedrichs: Yes, that s right. 

Teiser: Back to 1906--they had saved the original individual 


Diedrichs: Most of them, yes. 

Teiser: So they were able to take them to Oakland? 
Diedrichs: Yes, and continue their work. Of course, the 

new work that came, natural ly, they had to make 

new stones. They had an artist who worked on 

these stones. 
Teiser: Was the Oakland plant very much smaller than 

the San Francisco plant? 
Diedrichs: Oh, yes, yes. 

Teiser: About how many people worked there? 
Diedrichs: Well I d say. . . at least a couple of hundred 

or so, more than that three hundred maybe. 
Teiser: And how many had worked in San Francisco? 
Diedrichs: I guess it was a little more than that. Most 

of the people, after the fire, went back east 

or got different jobs and went to different 

places . 
Teiser: Was Louis Traung in charge of the pressroom in 

Oakland too? 

Diedrichs: That s right. 
Teiser: And you went to being. . . ? 
Diedrichs: Pressman. 

Teiser: Were you a journeyman pressman by then? 
Diedrichs: No, I was still an apprentice pressman. Then 

the firm moved over here, built the second building 


Diedrichs: over here. They installed all the machinery 
from Oakland in 1908 that was. 

Teiser: They brought machinery back from Oakland? 

Diedrichs: Installed new machinery, and a lot of equipment 
from Oakland they moved over. I was running a 
stone press in Oakland. But when I got to the 
City, I was running an aluminum press, a direct 
press printing from aluminum a rotary press. 
It was about that timein 1906 that the first 
offset presses came out. In fact, they had one 
over in Oakland. 

Teiser: Oh, they did? What size press was that? 

Diedrichs: That was just a small press, about now what 

was that they were running a 22-inch sheet on 
it. Just a small offset press. 

Teiser: What kind was it, do you remember? 

Diedrichs: Harris. 

Teiser: Were they the first manufacturers of offset 
presses in this country? 

Diedrichs: I don t know if there were any other manu 
facturers at that time, but Schmidt as long as 
I ve been down there, I ve been fighting for 
Harris offset presses. 

Teiser: You think that s the best? 


Diedrichs: I did. And Miehle, in the meantime, built an 

offset press. They were trying to get into the 
Schmidt Company for a good many years. But I 
objected to it because we stayed with Harris 
all those years. Finally they got one in here, 
when Mr. Shaw*came in. [Laughter] 

Teiser: Mr. Shaw certainly turned things upside down, 
didn t he? 

Diedrichs: Yes. You know the plant was built on the old 
Donahue mansion grounds, don t you? 

Teiser: I didn t know. Peter Donahue. I was looking 
at a picture of the house and didn t recognize 

Diedrichs: It was a very nice neighborhood at that time. 
There used to be some beautiful homes up on 
Harrison Street. It used to be [like] Nob Hill 
at one time. I remember, when I was a young 
fellow, they used to have big parties down there 
at the Donahue mansion, and have a canopy over 
the entrance for people to go in. 

Teiser: When was the Donahue mansion torn down and the 
olant built? 

Diedrichs: The second plant was built in 1900. They moved 
from Main Street to Bryant Street in 1900. It 
was Mutual Label and Lithograph Company when I 

John Shaw 


Diedrichs: first knew it. 

Teiser: When you first knew it [in 1902], And it 

changed its name to Schmidt Lithograph Company 


Diedrichs: That s right. 
Teiser: After the fire? 
Diedrichs: It was after the fire, yes. 

Company People and Operations 

Teiser: But the ownership and management remained the 

Diedrichs: The same, yes. Only there were different men 

who were in the firm. Like you might have heard 
of Mr. Jones, of Di ckman-Jones . He was one of 
the big owners in the plant. 

Teiser: Of Mutual ? 

Diedrichs: Yes. At that time the Traung brothers were still 
running the plant, after the fire. Then they got 
in some trouble down there. They finally got out. 
The next foreman was Andy Hynes. He was assistant; 
He was a pressman down there and they made him 
foreman. After he was foreman for a while, a 
fellow by the name of George Bastain was foreman. 
And Bastain was foreman for a while after Hynes 
got out. Then Vic Olsen became foreman, and I 


Diedrichs: was his assistant. 

Teiser: Olsen s? 

Diedrichs: Olsen s assistant. He passed away in 1940, and 
I became foreman of the plant, and I was up 
until I retired. 

Teiser: When did you retire? 

Diedrichs: In 58--no, 59. 

Teiser: My word, that s a long career! 

Diedrichs: Fifty-seven years. 

Teiser: It must have been a good job. 

Diedrichs: No, no, there were a lot of troubles and 
worries . 

Teiser: You were foreman? 

Diedrichs: I was foreman of the pressmen after Mr. Olsen 

passed away. Then later on I was made superin 
tendent of the pressroom. The pressroom got 
larger all the time in the meantime. You heard 
about the company buying out the Galloway 

Teiser: That s a seed package company, isn t it? 

Diedrichs: Yes, they specialized in seed packets. They 
were on Howard Street. There was a Mrs. 
Schoning that owned it. She had two sons, Otto 
and Herbert. They ran the business for her. 
The Schmidt Lithograph Company bought them out. 


Diedrichs: Old Max bought out the Schoning company. 

Teiser: About when was that? 

Diedrichs: I couldn t tell you the exact year. But they ve 
been with the [Schmidt] company for the last 
twenty years, or more than that. 

Teiser: After World War I, do you think it was? 

Diedrichs: It was after World War I, I m sure. Then, of 

course, you know they built this building across 
the street*in the meantime. 

Teiser: Yes. What was that built for? 

Diedrichs: That was to expand the business, more room and 

one thing and another. But at the time they didn t 
have enough machinery and stuff to occupy that 
building. They were going to rent it out. Fin 
ally it developed that they moved a lot of the 
presses and stuff from this side [the old build 
ing] to that side of the street. 

Teiser: That newer building was on Second? 

Diedrichs: Same street. 

Teiser: But the next block south? 

Diedrichs: Right across the street, to the south. They 
made all their corrugated boxes over there. 

Teiser: Was that what it was used for finally? 

Diedrichs: The ground floor was. But the rest of the 

building--as I say--they moved the presses from 

*Plant No. 2 


Diedrlchs: Galloway Lithograph Company over there. That 

was like a plant in itself, because the Schoning 
brothers used to run that under a separate, you 
might saySchmidt was paying for everything, 
but they were running the seed bag department 
over there just as if it was their own plant 
down on Howard Street. 

Teiser: Did it occupy two floors then? 

Diedrichs: No, no, part of one floor, the third floor. 

Eventually the company moved the transfer room, 
which was in the old building, they moved that 
over to the new building, and plate making and 
artists all went over across the street. 

Teiser: That building would have been built when? About 

Diedrichs: I have something here. Just a minute, I ll show 
it to you. Here. 

Teiser: Oh, that s a dedication program.* 

Diedrichs: 1925. This is the entrance.* That s Mr. 

Richard Schmidt [on page 5]. It gives you a lot 
of dope in there. 

I got this watch when I retired. 


Dedication of Plant No. Tvo Schmidt Litho. Co., 
San Francisco, November 11, 1925. Pamphlet. 


Picture on cover of pamphlet. 

Teiser: Oh. [Reading] "Presented to Herman Diedrlchs 

5/16/1902--1952, by the employees of Schmidt 

Lithograph." That s a beautiful watch. 
Diedrichs: This is the sort of thing they used to print 

[showing a copy]. The Tower Time they used to 

call it. They used to put out this paper every 

month or so. 
Teiser: They had a lot of publications and things for 

the employees? 
Diedrichs: Oh, yes. Like this is in 1920 [photograph 

belonging to Mr. Diedrichs]. 

Teiser: Oh, that must be one of the parties. 
Diedrichs: One of the parties. They were well-known for the 

parties . 

Teiser: Did they give a party every year? 

Diedrichs: Oh, they used to have a salesmen s get-together, 

bring in all the salesmen from different areas. 
Now, this [photograph] is the last press they 

put in when I was down there. It s a four-color 

press, four-color Harris press. These are some 

double labels they printed on it down there. 
Teiser: When was that they put it in? 
Diedrichs: That was in 1958. 
Teiser: Were the direct litho presses single colors? 

Did you just run them through repeatedly for 

multiple impressions? 


Diedrichs: That s right. They were all single-color 

presses. They were single-color presses until 
we came back from Oakland. Then they ordered 
two-color presses. But they were still direct 
presses . 

Teiser: Were these aluminum? 

Diedrichs: Aluminum. They were direct. And, as I say, the 
first offset press we had was installed in Oak 
land. After we got to this side, then they 
installed a larger size press. Then they went to 
a larger size. Vic Olsen was the first one to 
run the offset press. 

Teiser: I suppose some of the labels required many colors, 
did they? 

Diedrichs: Oh, yes. Well, the standard label at that 

time was there was yellow, red, dark 

blue, light blue, and they used to run a pink-- 
that s right. It was five colors. Finally they 
got it down to four colors. 

Teiser: Did you ever do more than five colors? 

Diedrichs: Oh, yes. 

Teiser: What was the most? 

Diedrichs: Not in labels. If you mean advertising, we did 
ten and twelve colors. 

Teiser: For what kind of material was that? 


Diedrichs: For any kind of material, ice cream material, 
advertising . 

Teiser: Was this for point of purchase material, for 
display material? 

Diedrichs: That s right. 

Teiser: My word! The registration problem! 

Diedrichs: That s right. Well, that s where the four-color 
press came in handy, because they could register 
all the colors at one time. You know, Louis 
Traung was the first one to install a four-color 
press. He had Harris make the first four-color 
press that was ever built. He ran it right down 
here on Battery Street. 

Teiser: In the Traung Company?* 

Diedrichs: That s right. 

Teiser: When he and his brother left Schmidt, did they 
just go directly into their own business? 

Diedrichs: No, he and a fellow named Adam Pringle went into 
business together. I don t know how many years 
they were in business when--I think it was 
Zellerbach Paper Company got behind Louis Traung 
and started him in business down here on Battery 
Street. All they had was direct presses at the 
time. In the meantime, Schmidt was printing in 
offset. So finally they got in the offset game 

Traung Label and Lithograph Company 


Diedrichs: and gradually built it up and built it up. Then 
Louis Traung--it was his own idea to build this 
four-color press. Nobody thought you could 
print four colors at one time. They thought 
the colors would be too wet to print on top of 
one another. So, it proved a success. 

Teiser: Did it take a lot of special ink formulating? 

Diedrichs: Yes, changed inks and everything. Had to have 
all special inks for it. One ink wouldn t trap 
on top of another, the ordinary ink; they had to 
make a special ink so that the colors would all 
print on top of one another. Otherwise it s 
just like trying to paint something. 

Teiser: On a wet surface? 

Diedrichs: Yes. 

Teiser: Did Louis Traung work out any of the ink prob 
lems himself? Or did Harris do that? 

Diedrichs: Harris had nothing to do with the ink problem. 
It was all local, all between Louis Traung and 
the Schmidt Lithograph Company. You know we had 
our own ink plant? 

Teiser: Yes. I saw a picture of it. 

Diedrichs: Jack Galvin was there, and Paul Monelli. He 

started from nothing. This goes back and back. 
You could talk for years on it, but I m just 


Diedrichs: picking spots. But when I went down to work 

there they only had one ink mill and they had it 
out in the varnish room. They used to have- 
it s hard to explain it just like a stick of 
wood like this and it was on like a ladder, only 
that it was spaced farther apart. They d var 
nish a sheet and hang it over this ladder, or 
whatever it is we called it, and varnish another 
sheet and this other stick would come up and 
they d lay it over there. And this varnish 
machine used to go way up about a hundred feet 
in the air and come down. 

Teiser: It would travel around? 

Diedrichs: Round, see. In the meantime the varnish would 

be drying on the sheet. That s the way they had 
them drying the sheets. 

Teiser: This was like a traveling belt? 

Diedrichs: That s right. Now, today, they varnish a sheet-- 
they varnish them and stack them up in piles. 

Teiser: Do they run under a heat unit as they leave? 

Diedrichs: Yes. They go through a heat unit now. And it s 
very simple. They come out all ready to cut. 

Teiser: How long did it take them to dry in the air 
that way? 

Diedrichs: It used to take maybe three or four hours or 

something like that. They had only one ink mill 
at that time. An old fellow by the name of 
McMahon used to run it out there. All they did 
was grind some colors through it. So after they 
got established over here, after the fire . . . 
why, there was a chemist down in the shop they 
hired. His name was Doc Jaggard* He started 
this ink room down there and he hired Jack Galvin, 
who didn t know a thing aboutit. Between the two 
of them they mixed different colors and one thing 
and another. And it developed into quite a bus 
iness down there. They made all their own inks, 
I mean all their own special colors. They made 
it up from a powder, you know--varnishing . They 
bought the powders to make the colors. They 
used to make special colors for posters, for ad 
vertising and for labels, made all their own 
inks down there. You know they had a block 
department and a corrugated department that used 
to use ink also. The ink that was left over from 
the lithograph department, that they couldn t use 
any more, John Galvin used to grind it and make 
colors for the block department because it wasn t 
so particular. 

Belmont P. Jaggard 


Teiser: What did the block department do? 

Diedrichs: Mostly can labels. They had the biggest con 
tract. They had a contract with the Alaska 
Packers for a good many years, printing salmon 
labels . 

Teiser: Why do you call it the block department? This 
is the letterpresses? 

Diedrichs: That s right. They printed from blocks. 

Teiser: Oh, from electros [electrotypes]? 

Diedrichs: Yes. 

Teiser: And they re called blocks? 

Diedrichs: Blocks, yes. They used to turn out millions of 
salmon labels down there every year. They were 
always printing. 

Teiser: How many colors? 

Diedrichs: It was mostly four colors. Millions of them. 

Teiser: Were they single-color printing presses? 

Diedrichs: They were for awhile, then they had two-color 
presses. Not over two-color. 

Teiser: What were those, Miehles? 

Diedrichs: All Miehles, yes, a good many years down there. 
That was a big establishment, you know. They 
started printing the salmon labels on letter 
presses. Later on they printed them all on litho 
graph presses. But they started in that way. 


Teiser: I ve taken you away from the ink department. 
You were talking about developing the fast- 
drying inks for the four-color lithograph press. 
Did Schmidt Lithograph Company work with the 
Traungs on developing those inks? Was Schmidt 
Lithograph Company interested in the develop 
ment of that four-color press? 

Diedrichs: It was Louis Traung s original idea. 

Teiser: He didn t ask for help from Schmidt with it? 

Diedrichs: No, no. He was in business essentially for 
himself by then. 

Teiser: Did he get help from the local ink companies? 

Diedrichs: Oh, absolutely. Yes, yes. With his own sug 
gestions for this and that. And they improved 
those inks so that you could print four colors. 

Teiser: Was he a very inventive man? 

Diedrichs: He was a very good mechanic. He was a wonderful 
man. Talk to anybody in the trade, you know: 
Louis Traung. 

Teiser: Yes. 

Diedrichs: Louis Traung and his brother. When I first went 
down there, his brother was a pressman, he was 
a stone pressman. Louis originally was a press 
man. He became a pressman, and his brother 
Charlie got to be way up in the union. He used 


Diedrichs: to go back east to the union conventions, and 
everything else. The last time he was down at 
Schmidt, he had charge of the art room down there. 
He was promoted so he had charge of the art room, 
the artists, down there. And they finally got 
out of there. The Schmidt Company found out 
that they were doing business with an ink 
company and getting a little on the side or 
something like that. So, it finally developed 
that they were out. 

Teiser: I understand standards were a big different then. 
Mr. Max Schmidt, Jr., told me there was a fair 
amount of steal ing . 

Diedrichs: Oh, yes. One of their best office helpers got 
away with quite a bit of money. Then he killed 
himsel f . 

Teiser: For heaven s sake! 

Diedrichs: Just down on Third Street. They found out that 
he was getting away with a lot of money, and he 
took his life. 

Teiser: To go back to the block department, did the 
regular pressroom foremen and superintendent 
have to handle the letterpress presses too? 

Diedrichs: No, there was a man by the name of Hildebrand, 
George Hildebrand, who was foreman of the block 


Diedrichs: department. And this George Winberg succeeded 
him when he passed away. George Winberg was in 
charge of the block department right up til 
the time he passed away. 

Teiser: Did Schmidt Lithograph Company continue to do 
letterpress printing until fairly recently? 

Diedrichs: Well, on a large scale that stopped, oh, in 56 
or something like that. They were printing 
Chesterfield labels for a good many years down 
there. They had a contract. And that was all 
done block. Chesterfield cigarette labels. 

Teiser: It went on into the 1950 s? 

Diedrichs: Oh, yes. Later than that. 

Teiser: I see. Where was the composition done? 

Diedrichs: It was all done outside. 

Teiser: Who, mainly, did it? 

Diedrichs: I can t think of the name of the company that did 
it, but it was all done outside. 

Teiser: But there was one company that did the composition? 

Diedri chs : Yes , yes . 

Teiser: Were they nearby? 

Diedrichs: Oh, within a short distance. Actually they had 
trucks backing in there all the time with blocks 
and stuff. We had what we call a job room. 


Teiser: It set type? 

Diedrichs: That s right. 

Teiser: For the lithography? 

Diedrichs: For the lithography and for ... it didn t make 

these salmon labels [printed on the] block presses, 
but it set type for all kinds of other printing. 
They had several job presses up there that they 
used to do small jobs on. 

Teiser: What kind of presses were they? 

Diedrichs: One was a Miehle, I think. Then they had these 
other presses that open and close. [Laughter] 
I forget the name. 

Teiser: Were you at the 1915 Panama Pacific txposition? 

Diedrichs: Yes. 

Teiser: Can you describe the Schmidt building there? 

Diedrichs: No, I can t. There was quite an exhibit there. 
I don t know whether they were in another build 
ing, or what they had. I guess they had a booth 
in another building. I think that was it. 

Teiser: I see. Did they have a press running? 

Diedrichs: Yes. In fact they made a proposition with 

Harris--! mean Harris made a proposition with them 
to install the press at the Expositionno, no! 
Harris made a proposition with the Schmidt Litho 
graph Company to sell them a press, or donate it 

Platen presses 


Diedrichs: at a certain price, if they d run it in their 

plant, down here on Second and Bryant, and have 
people come in to see it at demonstrations. You 

Teiser: I see! 

Diedrichs: At that time, the Exposition, anybody who wanted 
to see the Harris offset press in operation would 
come to the Schmidt Lithograph Company and get 
the demonstration of the press running right 
there . 

Teiser: Was that a single-color? 

Diedrichs: It was a single-color. 

Teiser: Wasn t it a bother to have people trudging into 
the pressroom constantly? 

Diedrichs: No, that was all in the deal. What we were doing 
was just printing the regular jobs, just going 
on about business as usual. And these people 
would come in and look at it and ask questions. 
Just look at the press and want to know what this 
is for and that. That s the way it worked out. 

Teiser: I ll ask another question now that maybe your 
wife should answer. In some of the pictures 
that Mrs. Stewart Morris gave the Bancroft 
Library, there are a good many young women, and 
I believe you said Mrs. Diedrichs was a press 


Teiser: feeder at one time. 
Diedrichs: Yes. [Calls Mrs. Diedrichs] Mom! Come on in 

a minute. Come over here and sit down. 
Teiser: I was saying that I understood that at one time 

women were press feeders at the plant. And you 

were one? 

Mrs . D. : That 1 s right. 

Teiser: Wasn t that awfully hard work for a woman? 
Mrs. D.: Sit all the time; that s all you had to do. Sit 

and put the sheets in the press. That was all. 
Teiser: The men brought the stacks and placed them? 
Mrs. D.: Oh, yes, they piled them up. That s all you 

had to do. You could stand up if you wanted to, 

or just sit. 
Diedrichs: But the sheets had to register then; they had 

to be fed into-- 
Mrs. D.: There was a guide or something up at the other 

end, the top of the press. You d bump against 

that and you d put the sheet into that, and these 

things would go and go. 
Diedrichs: Of course they had to keep the press running 

steady all the time. The pressmen would bring 

the sheets and put them up on the feed board and 

roll them out for the feeder to feed the press. 

They had to keep the press in motion all the time. 


Mrs. D.: I was awfully young when I went there, because 
I went up to the eighth grade in school, but I 
didn t wait for the graduation. My father was 
quite perturbed, but there was a young girl 
lived next door, and she kind of talked me into 
it. That s why I went there. But then my sister 
and I had to go to night school for a year. Then 
they sent us to Heald s Business College. It 
was after the fire. It was temporarily out on 
Van Ness Avenue. So we took up a regular busi 
ness course, typing and all that. Then I went 
from there into a lawyer s office. That was 
kind of uphi 1 1 . 

Teiser: And you found a husband on the way. 

Mrs. D.: I think he found me. I wasn t looking for 

anybody at that time. [Laughter] There were 
so many young peopl e--young girls and young guys 
down there, you know it was rather nice. 

Teiser: It must have been fun. 

Mrs. D.: Yes, you struck up an acquaintance. Then we had 
parties, and the firm would give picnics. You d 
meet at the picnics and all like that. 

Teiser: Did many of the young men and young women who 
were working there marry? 

Mrs. D.: Oh, yes. Quite a few of them, yes. 


Teiser: I just was wondering really what it was like to 
be a press feeder as a young woman. 

Mrs. D.: It was fairly simple and easy, you know. Of 

course, that was the first thing I d ever done. 

Diedrichs: You understand we used to print four-and five- 
color labels. And these girls would feed the 
presses. We also had boys feeding the presses. 
But when the presses had to be washed up, from 
one color to another. . . 

Mrs. D.: Or any manual labor . . . 

Diedrichs: Yes, then the girl would go over and feed a press 
that the boy was feeding, and the boy would have 
to come back and wash that press up. 

Teiser: Oh, the boys did the dirty work. 

Mrs. D.: Oh, yes. We never had to put our hands to a thing 
Just take the sheets and . . . 

Diedrichs: Feed the presses. 

Teiser: Did some of the girls also hang paper to season? 

Diedrichs: Not down at the Schmidt Lithograph Company. 

Mrs. D.: They did hang it in the varnish room, didn t 
they? Or take the sheets off in the varnish 

Diedrichs: When they varnished a sheet, they put it onto one 
of these bars and it would go up in the air. 

Mrs. D.: That s the first department I went into. 


Teiser: Then somebody would have to take them off? 

Mrs. D.: We had to take them off. They d come up from 

the first floor down there to the second or third, 
wasn t it? 

Diedrichs: Yes. 

Mrs. D.: And there d be so many on a bar. And we had to 
take them all off. 

Diedrichs: But that s different from seasoning stock to 
print. All our lithograph paper has to be 
seasoned, that is, if it isn t seasoned in the 
[paper]factory . We used to take it in the plant., 
they had seasoning rooms where they used to hang 
it up for twenty-four hours or so, then take it 
down for printing. 

Mrs. D.: Then after the fire and earthquake I didn t work 
there. I went across the Bay when they [the 
Schmidt Lithograph Company] went across the Bay, 
and just worked there a short while. Then I 
didn t work there any more. 

Diedrichs: That was 1906; then we were married in 1908. 

Mrs. D.: That s right, 1908. 

Diedrichs: Fifty-eight years married. 


Diedrichs: We have seven grandchildren and thirteen great- 
grandchi Idren . 

Mrs. D.: We only have three children ourselves. We are 
all pleased with the whole family. They ve all 
done well. You can t ask for anything more. 
Good health, thank God, so you can t ask for 
much more. 

Teiser: I should say not. 

Mrs. D.: Yes. We stayed in the same house, right here. 
We built the house about a year or two after we 
were married, had an architect design it and 
the contractors build it, and we ve stayed here. 
Maybe I have a little bit of Scotch with the 
Irish, because I hate to go out and put more 
money in, after you have a home and you ve raised 
your children in it. 

Mutual Label & Litho. Co. 1903 Photograph Album 

Teiser: I have numbered the pages in the photograph 

albums. What I have done in talking with Mr. 
Max Schmidt, Jr. and Mr. Ben Schmidt is to give 
the page numbers as we ve gone through them. If 
you could look at them in order and make any 
comments. . . . 

Diedrichs: They probably told you who all these people were. 


Teiser: Some of them they have, yes. Could you start 

with page 1? This is the Mutual Label and Litho 
graph Company album of 1903. 

Diedrichs: Yes. That s the first building. 

Teiser: Where was the tower building in relation to that? 

Diedrichs: It wasn t erected at that time. You see, this 
is Bryant Street. 

Teiser: To the right. 

Diedrichs: And this is Second Street. 

Teiser: To the left. 

Diedrichs: And the tower was built here. 

Teiser: Oh, beyond on the left edge of the picture. 

Diedrichs: That s right. This was the building before the 
fire. It had three stories on the side and one 
in the middle. That gave the pressroom more light 

Teiser: Oh, that was why that middle section was low. 

Diedrichs: Yes, because the pressroom was down there. Then 
when they built in 1908, they wanted more room 
so they built a skylight in the center of the 
building. This is the original building that 
was built in 1900. At least they started up 
there in 1900. 

Teiser: Here is page 2. 

Diedrichs: Well, of course, this is the office, which is 

out of my line. But I know all the people there. 

Diedrichs: There s Mr. Rahsskopff, Mr. Richard Schmidt, 

Mr. Jones--who was one of the shareholders at 

the time he was a big shot in the companyMr. 

Max Schmidt, and I don t know who this is. 
Teiser: Mr. Max Schmidt is on the right end, and the one 

you don t know is second from right. 

Here is page 3. 
Diedrichs: This, of course, is the office. You don t care 

to know anybody. 

Teiser: If you see anybody you recognize, yes. 
Diedrichs: There s Mr. Max Schmidt, I know. 
Teiser: Oh, sitting, with the cap on. 
Diedrichs: Yes, that s right. 
Teiser: Did he always wear that cap? 
Diedrichs: A good part of the time. Here s Mr. Richard 

Schmidt here, sitting at the desk. 

Teiser: Sitting at the desk, in the distant right? 

Diedrichs: By that door. 

Teiser: With his hand on top of a book or something 

of the sort. 
Diedrichs: Yes. 
Teiser: Who s the woman next to him. Do you recognize 


Diedrichs: No. I know this young fellow here. 
Teiser: In the foreground? 

In front of the open door. 


Diedrichs: His name is Gamble, Frank Gamble. 
Teiser: Page 4, the office again. 
Diedrichs: Of course, we didn t get into the office at that 

time, very much. 

Teiser: Page 5. Can you name them? 
Diedrichs: I don t know the first three gentlemen on the 

left, but the next is Mr. Rahsskopff. This 

gentleman I don t know, but this is Mr. Richard 

Teiser: Far right. I think this is "German Max" standing 

up. He sai d i t was . 
Diedrichs: I think it was, but I didn t want to commit 

my s e 1 f . 

Teiser: This is page 6. 
Diedrichs: This, of course is I ve got these written down 

here the artists and engraving room. These are 

all artists and engravers. You can see them here, 

they were working on stones. They used to call 

it stipple work. 
Teiser: That s to the right. Did the artists do the 

general designs and then the engravers execute 

them? Or did the artists work directly on 

Diedrichs: The artist worked directly on stone. They were 

called the originals. The originals would be 

Max Schmidt, Jr. 


Diedrichs: transferred to the regular press plates. 
Teiser: How did you distinguish between artists and 

engravers, then, in that department? 
Diedrichs: Engraving on stone is different than art work. 

Like commercial work, the engraver would engrave 
the script, and all that stuff. An artist 
would for printing colors, four and five colors 
at a time they d have to make a separate original 
for each color. And they d do the stipple work. 
That s the way the work was done, by stipple, at 
that time. 

Teiser: Page 7. 

Diedrichs: This is the paper stock department and seasoning 

room, where they seasoned the paper. This was 

the foreman, Mr. Morrow. 
Teiser: Standing? 
Diedrichs: Yes, with the truck. I don t know who the girl 

was . 
Teiser: Did they use girls in that department a good 

Diedrichs: Well, for laying out sheets. You see, this is 

all paper that s seasoning. They used to season 

it that way in those days. They didn t hang the 


Diedrlchs: paper like they did in later years. These were 
laid out in trays. 

Teiser: Are they wooden trays? 

Diedrichs: Yes, wooden trays. You see, those trays are 
very narrow, and very light. They are like 
slats, to let the air go through. Well, they 
take about that many sheets and put them in one 
tray. Then put another tray on top, and then 
take a few more sheets. You can see them there. 

Teiser: Yes. Did the girls do the lifting of the trays? 

Diedrichs: The trays are very light. 

Teiser: I see. Here s page 8. 

Diedrichs: I m a little bit dubious about that one. 

Teiser: Let s see, Mr. Max Schmidt, Jr. said those were 
wood engravings. 

Diedrichs: That s what I thought they were, engravings, but 
I didn t want to commit myself. 

Teiser: In the racks. 

Diedrichs: Here s a bandsaw where they cut out all the 
blocks . 

Teiser: Here s page 9. 

Diedrichs: That s the stone grinding. Here s the size of 
these stones . 

Teiser: That big white thing toward the right? 

Diedrichs: Yes, that s a stone. I ll show you more later on 


Diedrlchs: Here s the machine that they used to rotate, 
and it had a part on top that used to grind 
these stones. They used to have to throw 
pumice stone and sand in there to grind all the 
old work off the stone. 

Teiser: The machine you re describing is the round one 
toward the left? 

Diedrichs: Yes. Then when they come out of there, these 

men back here that s Mr. Warren. . . 

Teiser: Standing at the back, with the moustache? 
Diedrichs: Yes. He s doing what they call polishing the 

stone. After it comes out of there he smoothes 

it all off. 
Teiser: By hand? 
Diedrichs: Yes, by hand. There s Mr. Max Schmidt [Jr.] 

in back there too. 
Teiser: In the dark suit, between the two men who are 

doing hand polishing? 
Diedrichs: That s right. I know these other men, but I 

can t think of their names. 
Teiser: This is page 10. 
Diedrichs: This is a section of the transfer room. This is 

a large stone. See how large that is? You were 

asking how big they were, yesterday. And this 

man s name is Dick Heinrich. 

Michael J. Warren 


Teiser: Standing right in the center foreground? 

Diedrichs: Yes. He was a transfer man, what they called a 
transferer at that time. This is a large press 
for transferring the work ontowell, I forget 
what they called it. To a stick-up sheet, we d 
say. And these presses back here are small hand 
presses that the men worked. This was the large 
one where they put these big stones in. 

Teiser: What are these things in the rack to the far 
left there? 

Diedrichs: Those are all stones. 

Tei ser: This i s page 1 1 . 

Diedrichs: This is another section of the transfer room. 
This is Mr. Richard Schmidt. 

Teiser: To the far left? 

Diedrichs: Yes. Here s George Caldwell. 

Teiser: To the far right. 

Diedrichs: And Charlie Martin. 

Teiser: Left of him. 

Diedrichs: Yes. And I know the others, but I can t recall 
their names. 

Teiser: What s this thing right in the foreground? 

Diedrichs: That s a hand press. Each transfer man operated 
one of these hand presses. 

Teiser: So there s a whole row of hand presses there in 
the picture. 


Diedrichs: That s right. 

Teiser: Page 12. 

Diedrichs: And here s another section of the transfer room. 

Teiser: What are these sheets? 

Diedrichs: Those are . . . couldn t say what that is now. 
There s Mr. Cal dwell, way in the back, again. 
It s hard to see him. 

Teiser: Oh, yes, he s the man to the left in the distance. 

Diedrichs: I can recall all these faces, but I can t remember 
the names. 

Teiser: What is this? Are these hand transfer presses? 

Diedrichs: That s the same as you saw on the other page. 

Teiser: I see, the same as 11. 

Diedrichs: You see they are the same. There s a man for 

each one of these presses. And they are all done 
by hand. 

Teiser: All hand-powered? 

Diedrichs: Yes, that s right. 

Teiser: With a crank? 

Diedrichs: Yes, there was a crank on the side of them. What 
they do is, they take a label, an original like 
this. It s on stone, and you know grease and 
water don t mix. Wherever the work is, that s 
grease. The other part of the stone, the water 
keeps this hand roller from picking up ink on 

Diedrichs: the part of the stone that they don t want it 

to print on. See? 
Tei ser : Yes . 
Diedrichs: So they roll this up until it gets a nice black 

impression. And they take a piece of transfer 

paper and lay it on like that. 
Teiser: On top of it. 
Diedrichs: And they put some cardboard and stuff on top to 

get a good impression. They they fold over 

like this. 
Teiser: They fold over a hingedwhat do they call that? 

Diedrichs: I dont know what it was. They d fold this down 
over the stone. 

Teiser: Over the top. 

Diedrichs: Then he d turn this and grind it through here. 
And that would force the pressure of that black 
from the stone onto a piece of transfer paper. 
That s one impression he d have. If there were 
fifty labels on a sheet, he d have to do that 
fifty times, off that one stone, to make one job, 
Not only that, but there s five colors, so that 
would mean five each time. That was hand trans- 
ferri ng . 

Teiser: So that would make five times fifty. What kind 


Teiser: of paper is transfer paper, what s it like? 

Diedrichs: It s composition; they make it right at the shop. 

Teiser: They don t still, do they? 

Diedrichs: No, because they don t use stones any more. 

Teiser: What kind of paper was it? 

Diedrichs: I don t know what you d call what they made it 

out of, but it was some kind of gelatin, a paste 
like that they d put on this paper. It was just 
like when you were a little girl, remember, you 
used to transfer from a piece of paper to your 
hand those colored objects? It would come off. 
He d make--say he had fifty labels on the sheet, 
he d have to pull fifty impressions. And when he 
got all these impressions pulled, then they had 
what they called a key plate--a large plate like 
thisthat was all ruled out in sections, so that 
each one of these labels would fit in that sec 
tion. And they used to do what they called stick 
up these transfers on this large key plate. So 
they would make a sheet of labels, say fifty 
labels, and there d be fifty of these all stuck--. 
They had to register it right to a hair on this 
key plate so when the plate was ready for the 
press each color would fit. 

Teiser: How were the fifty impressions placed on that key 


Diedrlchs: That key plate would be put through the big 
machine. That s a great big machine, see? 

Teiser: As is shown on page 10 of the album. 

Diedrichs: And that would be transferred to the stone. The 
key plate would be 1 ayed on the stone. This 
would go throughjust like the small press, only 
it was a larger machine. In that way, they d 
get all those impressions on one stone. Then 
that stone had to be what we called etched, be 
processed for the pressroom. It had to go down 
to the pressroom. Then it would be put in the 
press. We d print from that stone. 

Teiser: And if there were five colors there d have to be 
five stones? 

Diedrichs: That s right. 

Teiser: What was the key plate made of? 

Diedrichs: It was pretty heavy, because it was more of a-- 
I don t know lead or steel, or what it was. 

Teiser: It was a metal? 

Diedrichs: It was some kind of metal. The idea was not to 

have these labels stretch or get out of position. 
They had to have something very heavy and flat 
to keep the position that these labels were stuck 
up in . 

Teiser: Here s page 13. 

Diedrichs: Look at the size of those stones. You were 


Diedrichs: asking the other day. 

Teiser: Those were the ones that It took two men to lift? 

Diedrichs: That s right. 

Teiser: What department is this? 

Diedrichs: Another section of the transfer room. 

Teiser: And page 14? 

Diedrichs: I have here [on list] 14 and 15: sections of 
job room. 

Teiser: Now this was where, you said, they did set some 
type too. 

Diedrichs: That s right. 

Teiser: What s that all over the back wall, on page 14? 

Diedrichs: Those are all blocks, you know. 

Teiser: Electros? 

Diedrichs: That s right. 

Teiser: And what kind of a press is that in the fore 

Diedrichs: They used to call them pony presses. 

Teiser: Letterpresses? 

Diedrichs: Yes, letterpress. That s a letterpress, nothing 
to do with lithography. 

Teiser: And here s 15. 

Diedrichs: That s part of the job room. 

Teiser: What are those presses? 

Diedrichs: It looks like a Miehle press. 


Teiser: In the center. 
Diedrichs: Miehle cylinder press. This is Mr. Wise. He 

was the foreman, the fellow with the moustache. 
Teiser: He has a moustache and a little hat. 
Diedrichs: And I remember this fellow. His name was Frankie 

Teiser: He s to the right foreground, in the apron, 

near the press in the center. 
Diedrichs: He was a pressman. There s a lot of them there 

that I don t know, I don t recall. 
Teiser: It s a long time ago. 

Diedrichs: Anyhow, he married a girl from down there. 
Teiser: Klein? 
Diedri chs : Yes . 
Teiser: Page 16. 
Diedrichs: This is part of the litho pressroom. These are 

all aluminum rotary presses, direct presses, not 

offset. All aluminum direct presses. This 

pressman here is Bill Ward. 
Teiser: In the center. 
Diedrichs: And the other pressman, right behind him, is 

Billy Bergk. And I m here, a feeder at the time. 
Teiser: Oh, just above Bergk. You re standing up, with 

an apron on. 
Diedrichs: On the press. No apron. That s a pair of 


Diedrichs: overalls, I guess. 
Teiser: Oh, I see, you re standing with one hand on the 

feed board. 
Diedrichs: Yes, on the feed board. That s the second 

press [from the left]. There s the third press 

And this is Mr. Richard Schmidt. 
Teiser: Oh, yes. He s standing. . . 
Diedrichs: He s looking down at the labels.* 
Teiser: The labels in the press that you re feeding. 
Diedrichs: Yes. There s a young fellow right over here; 

his name is Albert Morrison. 
Teiser: He s right in front of the rollers of the first 

press to the left. 
Diedrichs: He s a feeder. This gentleman s head right in 

here; that s Louis Traung, the foreman. 
Teiser: Let s see how we can identify him. He has dark 

hair and his head is directly under a hanging 

light. at the back of the room. 
Diedrichs: Yes, behind the board there. 

Teiser: The feed board of the third press from the left 
Diedrichs: He s got a vest on. In back of him is George 

Simonsen. He was a pressman at the press. 
Teiser: Page 17. Here are the Traung brothers. Which 

is which? 
Diedrichs: Well, [laughter] the one to the left is Louis. 


Actually a poster. 

Diedrichs: And the one to the right is Charlie Traung. And 

these are stone presses, Hoe stone presses. 

This feeder is Bill Lampe. 

Teiser: The fellow in the overalls up in the center? 
Diedrichs: Yes. He s feeding the press. Those are three 

stone presses, three Hoe stone presses, that they 

printed commercial work on. 

Teiser: How big a stone would they take? 
Diedrichs: Oh, 28 by 42. 
Teiser: This is page 18. 
Diedrichs: And here is a section of the litho pressroom. 

These are four stone presses, four Campbell stone 

presses . 

Teiser: Campbell presses? 
Diedrichs: Yes. It s a different style press than the other, 

but they are all stone presses. These in back 

here there are three more in back. 
Teiser: In the back row. 
Diedrichs: And this one rotary press. 
Teiser: On, on the far right is a rotary press? 
Diedrichs: That s right. I have it written down here, in 

case you want to know. 

Teiser: But the others are all Campbell stone presses? 
Diedrichs: Campbell stone presses, that s right. 
Teiser: What kind of rotary press was it? Was that one 

of the aluminum presses? 

Diedrichs: Aluminum press, yes. Now do you want to start 

over here at the left? 
Teiser: Yes. 

Diedrichs: Here s a pressman here; his name is Dan Hart. 
Teiser: On our left. 
Diedrichs: Here s another pressman; his name is Dave 

Ramsey . 

Teiser: Next to him. 
Diedrichs: Here s a feeder of that press. His name is Chris 

Vanderveen. This fellow up here on the feed 

board is ... 
Teiser: The next one to the right you don t know, but 

the next one is. . . 

Diedrichs: Frank Gillespie. And here is Billy Berqk. 
Teiser: In front of him. 
Diedrichs: Billy Berqk, my pressman. 
Teiser: Ah yes, he s in the overalls there. 
Diedrichs: And here I am again. Feeding the Campbell press. 
Teiser: You re standing up with your arms crossed? 
Diedrichs: That s right. To take the picture. Otherwise 

we d be all over. 
Teiser: You re just about in the center of that picture. 

Who s the fellow right in front of you? 
Diedrichs: That s Dave Powers. He was a pressman. 
Teiser: Who s the fellow in the suit? He looks out of 



Diedrichs: I wouldn t know him. Then in the back here 

is Gus Bouquet. He was a French boy, I think. 
Teiser: Third from the right, in the distance. His head 

is against a white patch of wall. 
Diedrichs: Here s Mr. Richard Schmidt. 
Teiser: Yes, he s first right, in the foreground. 
Diedrichs: You can t miss him. 
Teiser: Yes. He must have gotten all over the plant 

all of the time. Page 19. 
Diedrichs: This is a section of the litho pressroom. And 

this is an aluminum direct rotary press. 
Teiser: On the left. 
Diedrichs: And these are stone presses. 
Teiser: The other two are stone presses? 
Diedrichs: Yes. 

Teiser: Are they Hoes or Campbells? 

Diedrichs: They re Hoe presses. This is Gus Bouquet again. 
Teiser: Center foreground. 
Diedrichs: Yes. I don t know who the girl is. I forget 

her name. And this is Charlie Traung. 
Teiser: He has a whit shirt and a dark tie and an apron 

of some sort. 
Diedrichs: He s looking down. Right in back of him is Billy 



Teiser: To Charlie Tracing s left. 

Diedrichs: Yes. And standing here is Andy Hynes. 

Teiser: Now he has a white shirt and no tie, and over 

Oiedrichs: And in back of him is Dan Hart. He s got a 
vest on, or something. 

Teiser: He s up to the right of Hynes? 

Diedrichs: Yes. I can t recall the other fellows. I know 
their faces, but I can t recall them. It was a 
funny thing down there, you d work with people 
all your life, speak to them and all, and you 
don t know their last name in other departments, 
I mean, that you d come in contact with all the 

Teiser: This is 20. 

Diedrichs: Here these are all Hoe presses, all stone presses, 
all Hoe presses. This girl feeder is Annie 

Teiser: She s standing up against the window on the far 

Diedrichs: And this is Dan Hart. 

Teiser: He s the first man to the far left. 

Diedrichs: There s what they call a bronze machine here, 
right here, to the side. 

Teiser: The first machine on the left. 


Diedrichs: Yes. That s where they bronze sheets. They d 
take the sheets over there and feed them in by 
hand and they d go through a bronzing process, 
and they d come out down here. I don t know 
if you want to get all these names. 

Teiser: Any that you can give. 

Diedrichs: That s Charlie Kaiser. 

Teiser: He s standing in front of the wall, right of 
the bronzing machine. 

Diedrichs: Hews the pressman of this press here. Here s 
Charlie Rolet. 

Teiser: His head is right against the second press there. 

Diedrichs: He s pressman of that press. Here s Charlie Troll 

Teiser: He has a light-colored shirt. 

Diedrichs: He has a moustache, hasn t he? 

Teiser: A moustache, and overalls. 

Diedrichs: This [magnifying glass] might help. That was 
Charlie Troll. Here s Louis Traung. 

Teiser: In the white shirt with the tie and the vest. 

Diedrichs: Here s Johnny McCormick. 

Teiser: With the moustache and the little white tie. 

Diedrichs: This is Eddie Freeze. 

Teiser: To the far right, in the foreground. 

Diedrichs: He was a feeder. 

Teiser: What s this? Is this just a rag hanging on the 


Diedrichs: It s just a rag. 
Teiser: They forgot to take 1t away for the picture. 

This work on that sheet to the far right. They 

look like posters, small posters. 
Diedrichs: I ll check on that. That s a large sheet of-- 

could be advertising posters. 
Teiser: Here s page 21 . 
Diedrichs: Page 21: one, two, three four Hoe stone presses 

All in one section there. The pressman is Eddie 


Teiser: In the foreground. 
Diedrichs: Her first name was Lydia, but I don t recall 

her last name. 

Teiser: Lydia on the left, Eddie Walters, then. . . 
Diedrichs: Josie Desmond. She was a hand feeder. This is 

Adam Pringle, pressman. 

Teiser: You re naming them from left to right. 
Diedrichs: Yes. I don t know this girl. But this girl is 

Annie Schluter. 

Teiser: Again Annie Schluter. 
Diedrichs: Yes. And Charlie Rolet, the pressman. And 

Charlie Kaiser, the pressman. 
Teiser: Page 22. 
Diedrichs: This is part of the embossing department. They 

used to use platen presses for embossing. This 


Diedrichs: is the foreman, Dick Ellis. 
Teiser: To the left. 
Diedri chs : Yes . 
Teiser: Page 23. 
Diedrichs: This is a section of the block department. You 

know, type in blocks. 
Teiser: These are letterpresses? 
Diedrichs: Letterpress, that s right. Morino. 
Teiser: Fellow in the center foreground in the white 

shirt, just behind the press. 

Diedrichs: Joe Moreno. And this is Charlie Farrell. 
Teiser: In the dirty apron at the right? 
Diedrichs: Yes. He was the brother-in-law of Louis Traung. 

Louis Traung married his sister. This, of 

course, is a Miehle press, and they ve got a 

bronzer attached to it. 
Teiser: Oh, to the left end. 
Diedrichs: You see, the sheets come out and go through the 

bronzer and come out there. And all this piping 

here is where they draw the excess bronze out. 
Teiser: Oh, the powder. 
Diedrichs: So it won t fly around. 
Teiser: Oh, I see. I wondered how they handled it in a 

pressroom so it didn t fly around in the air. 
Diedrichs: At one time they had special rooms that they had 


Diedrichs: the machines in, and they had them all enclosed 
with glass. They had them with a little window 
where you had to raise it open about that much 
and slip, slide the sheets in. They used to have 
Chinamen feeding the presses because nobody wanted 
to do that job. It was a dirty job. 

Teiser: Page 24. 

Diedrichs: This is another section of the block printing 
department. Here s this fellow this is Andy 

Teiser: The second fellow from the left. 

Diedrichs: Can you see him? 

Teiser: Yes . 

Diedrichs: He got his arm taken off down there. 

Teiser: How? 

Diedrichs: In a Miehle press. 

Teiser: My word! 

Diedrichs: Well, he had a rag in his hand, and he was wiping 
a form off. The rag caught his arm and pulled him 
right in. 

Teiser: Were there many accidents like that? 

Diedrichs: Occasionally. There was a girl feeder, in the 
block department also, had her arm taken off on 
the same press. She was trying to take a sheet 
out. Sometimes a sheet isn t fed properly into 


Diedrichs: the press and it gets caught in the rollers. 
There s a lot of ink on the rollers, and they 
have to get all that out of the rollers before 
they can start running again. Somehow or other 
she was reaching in for a piece of paper. 

Teiser: Could this fellow continue working with one arm? 

Diedrichs: He did, up until the time he died. He was a 

Teiser: He continued to be a pressman? 

Diedrichs: For a short time after. Then he was put in 

charge of the corrugating department, when we had 
the corrugating department. Along side of him, 
again, is Charlie Far re 11. In the center with 
the dirty apron. A lot of these girls I know by 
name, but I can t recall most of them. 

Teiser: Page 25. 

Diedrichs: Twenty-five and twenty-six: bindery and cutting 
room. His name was Martin Boyle. 

Teiser: He s standing kind of in the center, in the light 
clothes with the dark bow tie, on page 25. 

Diedrichs: He was a cutter. He was a brother-in-law of 
mine. Right next to him was my sister. 

Teiser: The seated girl in the white collar and dark 

Diedrichs: That s right. 


Teiser: What was her name? 
Diedrichs: Deborah Diedrichs. She married Martin Boyle 

from the shop. There s another marriage down at 

the shop. 

Here s Josie Lynch. 
Teiser: She s the girl in about the center with the dark 

arm guards on, and the light blouse. She has 

lots of hair. 
Diedrichs: And this is Mr. Gilbert. He used to run cutting 

machines down there. 
Teiser: Second man from the right, with the white apron. 

This is page 26. 
Diedrichs: This is a section of the bindery. Those are all 

Teiser: What in the world did they use all those different 

kinds of dies for? 
Diedrichs: Different labels. They were cut different shapes 

and everything. 

Teiser: What were the girls doing? 
Diedrichs: They were probably helping to get some of those 

sheets die cut. I don t see the die cutting 

machine there. 
Teiser: Page 27. 
Diedrichs: Pages 27 and 28, box and carton department. Raisin 

cartons they used to make. 

Diedrichs: Page 28. The gluing machines. This is Ed Pierce; 

he was the foreman of that department. 
Teiser: The fellow in the moustache in the overalls and 

hat. All of these gluing machines were run from 

a central drive? 
Diedrichs: Yes. In those days that s all they had, pulleys; 

pulleys running each machine, the motors. 
Teiser: Here s 29. 
Diedrichs: That s where they made the electrotypes. In 

recent years they sent them out to be made. 

Before that they made them right in the shop. 
Teiser: These are sinks to the right? 
Diedrichs: Yes. 

Teiser: A good messy job, wasn t it? 
Diedrichs: Oh, it was a dirty job. This was the foreman, 

Paul Ny. 
Teiser: First fellow to the left. 

Page 30. 
Diedrichs: Machine shop. We ll start over here. This is 

Clarence Beach. 

Teiser: The first on the right. 
Diedrichs: This was the foreman, Jules Ny. He was the 

brother of Paul Ny, the fellow with the mous 
tache . 
Teiser: He s the third from the left, rot counting the 


Teiser: man [looking through the door] in the next room. 

Diedrichs: The man in the back is Bob Hancock. He was the 

Teiser: Page 31. 

Diedrichs: This was the electric room. That was what Mr. 
Max Schmidt, Electric Max, had charge of. 

Teiser: Thirty-two. 

Diedrichs: This is a section of the cutting room and bindery. 

Teiser: Thirty-three. 

Diedrichs: This is the packing room, where they used to 

pack all the labels and send them out. They used 
to send them out in cartons and cases at that 
time. I don t know any of these fellows. 

Teiser: Page 34. 

Diedrichs: This is the varnish room. It s a part of the 
varnish room. This is a varnish press. And 
this is what I was trying to explain to you. They 
fold these sheets over these bars. Do you see 
them. They go way up two or three floors in 
the process of drying. They would come down. 
Girls would put them on these racks, and when 
they d come down on the other side, they d have 
to take them off. 

Teiser: This was the traveling drying rack? 

Diedrichs: At that time, yes. 

Max A. Schmidt, son of Richard Schmidt. 


Teiser: The varnish was just put on by a regular press, 
is that right? 

Diedrichs: Yes. Oh, no. See, there s a trough here? 

Teiser: Yes, just to the right of the cylinder. 

Diedrichs: The varnish is in here. 

Teiser: Below the cylinder to the right. 

Diedrichs: The sheet would be fed here and go around there 
and get varnished. This roller here would var 
nish each sheet as it went around. They went 
in up here and came out below. 

Teiser: On the tapes and out on the board? 

Diedrichs: Yes. And they were taken from there and put 
over on these racks to go up and dry. This 
fellow who was running the varnish press at the 
time was Henry Hageman. 

Teiser: He s the man on the right. 

Diedrichs: He has a cap on. And this was the foreman. 

Teiser: Second from the right. 

Diedrichs: McBride was his name. No. What was the name 
of the foreman of the varnish room? McMahon, 
that was it. Gentleman with the cap on. 

Teiser: This is 35. 

Diedrichs: This is a section of the bindery. 

Teiser: What are those machines? 

Diedrichs: Roughening machines. They used to run these 


Diedrichs: labels through in sheets and roughen them, like 
a rough design. Did you ever see them? 

Teiser: No. Was it actually roughening the texture? 

Diedrichs: Yes. 

Teiser: So it gave a pebbly texture. 

Diedrichs: That s right. 

Teiser: Why did they do that? So they wouldn t scuff? 

Diedrichs: In one way, yes. But it was quite popular to 

have those sheets roughened like that. It made 
a nice looking sheet. After it s printed and 
roughened it d give a nice appearance. 

Teiser: Was that done for labels mainly? 

Diedrichs: Labels, mostly labels. 

Teiser: Page 36. 

Diedrichs: This is an ink storeroom. This man here is, 
again, Mr. McMahon. See him in back there? 

Teiser: The third man from the left. 

Diedrichs: This is Mr. Hageman again. 

Teiser: Hageman is second from the left. 

Diedrichs: Mr. McMahon was foreman of the varnish room. He 
had charge of the varnish room and the storage 
of the Ink department down there at the time. 
They used to buy inks in cans and store them. 
See here? 

Teiser: Oh yes, I can see the cans. 


Diedrichs: This is an ink mill. 

Teiser: To the left. And what s this to the right? 

Diedrichs: I was trying to figure it was an ink mill, but 
it doesn t look like one to me. I guess it is. 
That s all of that book unless you want to know 
these two pictures here. 

Teiser: Yes. This one that s called "Schmidt Litho, 3600 
impressions per hour." I ve numbered it 51-B. 

Diedrichs: This is an offset press. 

Teiser: To the left. 

Diedrichs: And it s feeding sheets into a bronzer. You see 
the sheet s coming out of here, going up here, 
through the bronze machine, comes out here. This 
is a varnish machine, that I was trying to show 
you on the other picture. They were dickering 
on buying some of these. These are from the 
salesmen. The sheets came down in here. 

Teiser: On the tapes. 

Diedrichs: And these grippers come around and take the sheet 
As it goes down here, this roller rolls varnish 
all over the sheet, and the sheet comes out here. 

Teiser: On the board? 

Diedrichs: Yes. 

Teiser: I ve numbered this 51-C. 

Diedrichs: This is the same thing, but in a different 


Diedrichs: position. This is Andy Hynes. 
Teiser: To the left. 

Schmidt Li thograph Co . 
1909 Photograph Album 

Teiser: This is a 1909 album. Page 1. 

Diedrichs: That, of course, is the building. 

Teiser: Page 2. 

Diedrichs: This is the building, another view of it. It 

described it here. 

Teiser: Page 3. 

Diedrichs: This is the Second Street view. 

Teiser: Page 4. 

Diedrichs: It shows all the names. 

Teiser: Where are they sitting, do you know? 

Diedrichs: Director s room. 

Teiser: Mr. Chickering was just a director? 

Diedrichs: He was a director, and I believe he was a lawyer. 

Teiser: Which of these were active in the company? 

Moffit was not in the company. How about Hueter? 

Diedrichs: No, he wasn t active. 

Teiser: Who was Borden, I. L. Borden? Was he in the 


Diedrichs: He wasn t active, no. 

Teiser: What was Richard Schmidt, Jr. s career? 

Diedrichs: He was the son of Max Schmidt, the founder? 


Telser: And what happened to him? Did he stay in the 

Diedrichs: He stayed in the company, and he was president 
of the company after his father died. He was 
chairman of the board. He passed away from 
cancer. He used to go to lunch with Max Schmidt[Jr.] 
Ben Schmidt, Harry Heppert, Ernie Wuthmann, Sr., 
and myself. This all goes back about ten or 
twelve years. We d go every Monday. 

Teiser: Harry. . . ? 

Diedrichs: Harry Heppert was foreman of the transfer room. 

Teiser: What was Richard Schmidt, Jr. like? Was he an 
affable sort of man? 

Diedrichs: Oh yes, very. For a good many years down there 
he was purchasing agent. His dad finally took 
him in the office. And he had a desk in his 
father s office, old man Max Schmidt. When the 
old man got called, Richard Schmidt, Jr. took 
his father s place. His sister was married- 
Mrs. Wuthmann. 

Teiser: Then Richard Schmidt Sr. , what was he like? 

Diedrichs: He was Max s brother. 

Teiser: Did you know him? 

Diedri chs : Oh, wel 1 . 

Teiser: What kind of a man was he? 


Diedrichs: A wonderful man. Here he is. 

Teiser: Yes. In the pictures he looks quite stern. 

Diedrichs: He was very quiet. When I was down in the press 
room you could tell the time of day by when he d 
make his round. He d go through that whole plant 
every day. And you knew just what time Richard 
Schmidt was coming through the plant. 

Teiser: What was his duty? 

Diedrichs: He was vice-president. He used to sell a lot of 
big companies, contracts and one thing and 

Teiser: Did Max Schmidt go through the plant too, each 

Diedrichs: Not as often, no. No, he stayed in the office 
most of the time. Occasionally he d go through 
the plant. 

Teiser: Max Schmidt, Sr. must have been a kind of a 
joker, was he? 

Diedrichs: Yes, he d kid everybody. But he d kid you in a 

way--in other words he d say what an easy job you 
had, but at the same time he d want you to be 
doing something. 

Teiser: Someone said that there were a certain number of 
people in the company who really weren t working 
very hard. Is that right? Or did everyone seem 
to you to be working hard? 

Diedrichs: They all had their jobs to do. There is 

another this is number 4--that s Max Schmidt, 

Mr. Hueter, Chickering. 
Teiser: Here s 5. These, I guess, are all people within 

the company, aren t they? 
Diedrichs: That s right. 
Teiser: "Mr. Rahsskopff, General Superintendent." What 

did he do? What was he like? 
Diedrichs: He was head of all the equipment. He was head 

of the machine shop. Any new equipment, any 

repai rs . 

Teiser: Was he a good mechanic? 

Diedrichs: Yes. I mean he never worked, he just supervised. 
Teiser: Did he understand machinery? 
Diedrichs: Oh, yes. From my understanding he was a watch 

maker or something. 
Teiser: What did Mr. Schoof do? 
Diedrichs: He was a great friend of the old man s, and they 

worked him in there on a job. I don t know what 

he really did, but he was around the office quite 

a bit. 
Teiser: That s what I think I mean about Mr. Max Schmidt 

sometimes inviting his friends to be employees, 

and they didn t always work very hard. Is that 



Diedrichs: That might be one of the reasons. [Laughter] 
Teiser: Is that true, though, that sometimes he gave 

people jobs, and he was just being kind to them 

and didn t want them to work so hard? 
Diedrichs: That s right. 
Teiser: Page 6. 
Diedrichs: I know this fellow. It s Louis Brune. He s the 

brother of Fred Brune. 
Teiser: The fellow to the right. 

This is page 7. 

Diedrichs: This is Miss Cardoza. 
Teiser: To the left. 
Diedrichs: She married Richard Schmidt, Jr., the son of 

Max Schmidt. 
Teiser: He is sitting to the right of a desk at the right 

[looking at the camera]. 
Diedrichs: And this is Carl Schmidt. 
Teiser: Behind him at the right of the other desk. 
Diedrichs: Yes. He s Richard Schmidt s son. And this is 

Richard Schmidt. 
Teiser: Richard Schmidt is sitting at the desk with 

Richard Schmidt, Jr. 
Diedrichs: That s right. 

Teiser: And who is sitting at the desk with Carl Schmidt? 
Diedrichs: Mr. Schoof. [Gerhard Schoof] 

Teiser: Was Miss Cardoza*a relative of Tony Cardoza, 

the bookbinder? 

Diedrichs: No. She had a brother who worked down there. 
In fact, her father worked on the stones. He 
was a stone grinder. They gave him a job up 
there grinding stones. There s a lot of help 
here that I remember, but I can t think of their 
names . 

Teiser: Here s page 8. Office, east side. 

Diedrichs: I know this fellow here. He was Bill Reed. 

Teiser: The man at the desk, just behind the woman at 
the front desk. 

Diedrichs: He was a salesman. Turned out to be one of their 
best salesmen at one time. 

Teiser: Page 9. Office, south side, sketching department. 

Diedrichs: I could guess at some of these names, but I 
want to be sure about them. 

Teiser: Page 10. 

Diedrichs: This is the chemical department. And this is 
Doc Jaggard that I spoke to you about. 

Teiser: To the right. 

Diedrichs: He started the ink department, in the present form 
that it was before they sold. And Jack Galvin 
was the guy who ran the ink department. 

Teiser: Did he start it when you returned from Oakland? 
After the fire? 

Correctly "Cardozo." 

*Before the merger with Stecher-Traung Lithograph Co 

Diedrichs: Yes, oh yes. After the fire. And 1t developed 

into quite an ink room. 
Teiser: Page 11. That s everybody. That s the new 

building, isn t it? 
Diedrichs: Yes. There may be a million in there. That is 

after the fire. 
Teiser: Page 12, artist department. That s in the new 

building too, isn t it? 
Diedrichs : Yes , it is . 

Teiser: Where was that, with light on both sides? 
Diedrichs: It was next to the office down there. I know 

all of these fellows, but I can t think of 

their names. The fellow with the cigar in his 

mouth, Row is his name. 
Teiser: He s got a hat on? 
Diedrichs: Yes. That guy worked all day--cigar in his 

mouth; he never lit it. He had a cigar in his 

mouth all day long. 
Teiser: Page 13. 

Diedrichs: It describes it here--engravi ng department. 
Teiser: Oh yes, metal engraving. 
Diedrichs: This is the foreman, Mr. Iken. 
Teiser: Fellow standing. . . 
Diedrichs: With the moustache. 
Teiser: Page 14. 


Diedrichs: Here he is again. 
Teiser: He s the man to the right. 

What did the metal engraving department engrave? 

Plates for . . .? 
Diedrichs: For the blocks. 

Teiser: Page 15. "Transfer Department, looking East." 
Diedrichs: There, you see, I could name you a lot of these 

fellows. This is Dick Bailey, with the moustache. 
Teiser: To the left. 

Diedrichs: And this fellow s name is Miller. 
Teiser: In the foreground. 
Diedrichs: And here s Dick Heinrich. 
Teiser: He s over there second from the left. 
Diedrichs: And here s Joe Dickman. 
Teiser: Dick Heinrich has overalls on and is standing 

with his hand on his hip. And Joe Dickman. . . 
Diedrichs: He s taking the stone out of the case. See, he s 

got the stone there. 
Teiser: Yes. 

Here s page 16. 
Diedrichs: That s part of the transfer room also. This is 

Joe Dickman again. 
Teiser: He has on a ... 
Diedrichs: Necktie and an apron. 
Teiser: And he s standing with one arm raised behind another 

man with a necktie and an apron. 


Diedrichs: That s Charlie Martin behind him. The fellow 
with the moustache there. His name is Axel 
Soderwall. That s his brother, not the foreman. 

Teiser: Oh, the other was Gus? 

Diedrichs: Gus Soderwall, yes. I know all these guys. I 

can t just say their names right out. Of course, 
this fellow here, again, with the hand roller- 
see he s got his hand on a roller there. 

Teiser: Roller in one hand and his other hand on his 

Diedrichs: Yes. That s Dick Heinrich. This is Miller again. 
He s a ... I told you in the other picture. 

Teiser: His head is right in front of the pillar in the 

Diedrichs: Caldwell, that s Caldwell. 

Teiser: The man second from the left. 

Diedrichs: Yes. Caldwell. He s the fellow I was trying to 

Teiser: Page 17. That s the transfer department. 

Diedrichs: This is the stone grinding that I think I showed 
you in the other [Mutual Label album]. See, 
there s the stone grinding machine. And here s 
this Mike Warren again. 

Teiser: Oh, he s got a moustache and a tie on? Far right? 

Diedrichs: Yes. And the fellow way in the back here is Jack 


Oledrichs: Armstrong. Well, I wouldn t bother with that. 
But I m sure of this guy, Mike Warren. 

Teiser: Page 18. Aluminum plate department. 

Diedrichs: This is what they used to grain the plates on. 
We call these plate-graining machines. They d 
put this plate in this trough here and clamp it 
down there tight and they d throw sand and pumice 
stone in on there and mix with water. And they d 
have marbles, just like the kids play with, some 
were steel and some were regular marbles. This 
press would start a rotary motion like that, and 
all these marbles would move around and take the 
work off and grain the plate. After they were 
through with the plate and they didn t want to 
save it for any reason they d put them in here. 
Then they d process it after that, and it would 
be ready to be transferred. 

Teiser: For re-use. 

Diedrichs: That s right. 

Teiser: How thick were those plates? How often could 
they use them? 

Diedrichs: They were twenty thousandths of an inch, twenty 
and twenty-five thousandths of an inch. 

Teiser: That thin! 

Diedrichs: Oh yes. Wait! Pardon me . Twenty-gauge plate, 

not thousandths. I m sorry. And this is Mr. 

Caldwell again. 

Teiser: The man to the left. 
Teiser: Nineteen then. Book bindery. Lots of girls. 

Twenty. Book bindery again, and more girls. 
Diedrichs: More girls, yes. 
Teiser: You certainly had a lot of pretty girls in that 

pi ant. 

Diedrichs: At that time they had them. 
Teiser: Twenty-one. 

Diedrichs: Job printing. 
Teiser: Ah yes. Those were little job presses, weren t 


Diedrichs: Well, they were platen presses, see. 
Teiser: Page 22 is the carton department. 
Diedrichs: They die-cut these sheets on these machines for 

the box department. They d run them through and 

die cut them. As they d come out they d have to 

run them through a gluing machine after, you know. 
Teiser: Why? 
Diedrichs: To make up the box. 
Teiser: I see. 

Diedrichs: Those are raisin cartons. They did a lot of those 
Teiser: Page 23. Carton department. 



Diedrichs: I think we ve seen most of those. Box depart 
ment, carton cutting and scoring, flat presses. 

Here s the foreman, Ed Pierce. 
Teiser: Oh, with the cap on and the moustache, second 

from right. 

Diedrichs: Yes. Here s Charlie Tofanelli. 
Teiser: To the far right. 
Diedrichs: Yes. He became foreman of that department years 

after Mr. . . 
Teiser: What is this in the left foreground? Are those 

dies on the top of that stand? 
Diedrichs: Yes. They d have to make them up. Those were 

dies that they d make up for this platen press, 

to cut out the cartons. 

Teiser: Twenty-four. Carton Department. 
Diedrichs: Folding, gluing machines. They ran them through 

these gluing machines. 

Teiser: That thing to the left is a gluing machine? 
Diedrichs: Yes. After they were all die-cut and everything 

Here s Mr. Pierce again, the foreman of the 

Teiser: Ah yes, in the cap and moustache, second from 


Diedrichs: Yes. 
Teiser: Page 25. 


In the Mutual Label Litho. Co. 1903 Photograph 
Al bum. 


Diedrichs: Factory office. This is Oscar Heath. 
Teiser: Standing in the foreground? 
Diedrichs: Yes. Mr. Rahsskopff in back. 
Teiser: At the desk. 
Diedrichs: And it looks to me like Max, but I wouldn t 

swear to it. 
Teiser: I think that he said that was he himself, Max, 


Diedrichs: That s right. 
Teiser: At the desk to the left. 

Twenty-six. Shipping office. 
Diedrichs: Mr. Hartmann. 
Teiser: To the left. 

Diedrichs: He had charge of the shipping office. 
Teiser: Did he always wear a derby? 
Diedrichs: Yes, always. 
Teiser: Twenty-seven. 
Diedrichs: Here he is again. 
Teiser: Oh yes, he is second from the right. Who is 

that fellow who looks like a western sheriff, on 

the right? 
Diedrichs: This guy? His name was Mr. James. He had 

charge of the door there. The shipping office 

was right next to the entrance on Bryant Street. 

And Mr. James had charge of everything that came 

in and went out down there. 


Teiser: Twenty-eight, offset press department. 
Diedrichs: These are offset presses that were put in right 

after the fire, in the new building. This Is 

Andy Hynes. 

Teiser: To the right. 
Diedrichs: He was foreman at the time. 
Teiser: Is that Mr. Rahsskopff next to him? 
Diedrichs: Mr. Rahsskopff, yes. 
Teiser: Second from right. 
Diedrichs: Here s Chris Vanderveen. 
Teiser: On the left end. 
Diedrichs: Yes. And Bill Mullens. 
Teiser: Second from left. 
Diedrichs: He was a roller maker down there. And Richard 

Schmi dt . 

Teiser: Third from left, to the front. 
Diedrichs: Yes. Then back there is Vic Olsen. 
Teiser: Right behind Richard Schmidt. 
Diedrichs: The little fat fellow there is Scotty Jackson. 
Teiser: With his left hand up on the equipment. One 

hand holding a lever of some sort and the other 

hand up. 

Diedrichs: Yes. And the fellow standing in back of him-- 
Teiser: To the right. 

Diedrichs: Yes, to the right--his name was Durham. And 

Mr. Rahsskopff and Mr. Hynes. 


Teiser: What kind of offset presses were they? 

Di edri chs : Harri s . 

Teiser: Single-color? 

Diedrichs: That s a single-color, that s right. 

Teiser: Page 29. 

Diedrichs: Now these are three- and two-color aluminum 

presses. They were direct printing, not off 
set. This was a three-color. 

Teiser: To the left. 

Diedrichs: This is George Simonson. He was a pressman on 
that press. 

Teiser: He s in the center. 

Diedrichs: Yes. And here was Andy Hynes. He was the fore 
man . 

Teiser: Third from right, with the overalls and the white 

Diedrichs: In back of him was George Bastain. He was a 

Teiser: To the upper right? 

Diedrichs: Yes. Up here on the press. Up here is Louis 
Traung . 

Teiser: Oh yes, in the shirt, and with a vest on. 

Diedrichs: He always wore a vest. 

Teiser: Did he stand up there like that all the time, or 
just while he was having his picture taken? 


Diedrichs: While he was having his picture taken. [Laughter] 
Teiser: Page 30. Single-color aluminum press. 
Diedrichs: Yes. Well, these are direct, not offset presses. 

Of course, this is Mr. Rahsskopff again. 
Teiser: To the left. Is this Richard Schmidt just to 

the right of him? 
Diedrichs: That s right. The pressman has a cap on. That 

was Frank Schmidt. 
Teiser: Was he any relation? 
Diedrichs: No, no relation. 

Teiser: He s against the third pillar from the left. 
Diedrichs: Here s George Bastain again. He was a pressman 

at that press. 

Teiser: He s in the lower right. 

Diedrichs: The others are just helpers. 

Teiser: Thirty-one. Single-color aluminum presses again. 

Diedrichs: These are the presses after the fire. They re 

all single-color aluminum rotary presses. This 

is the press that I ran at the time. 
Teiser: Oh, you re the man in the foreground to the 

left the first man to the left? 
Diedrichs: Yes. Here s Louis Traung and Richard Schmidt, 

Billy Bergk. 
Teiser: Louis Traung is with the tie and the vest, in 

about center. Who is the other fellow with the 


Telser: tie and vest, to his left. Next to the pillar? 

Diedrichs: He was just a feeder. 

Teiser: BillyBergkis between Louis Traung and Richard 
Schmidt . 

Diedrichs: Here s Frank Schmidt again. 

Teiser: Oh, to the far right, last man over on the right. 

Diedrichs: Yes. 

Teiser: Did he spell his name the same way as the other 

Diedrichs: S-c-h-m-i -d-t . 

Teiser: Page 32. 

Diedrichs: "Offset presses in distance." This is the 

bronzing room. For a while they used to have 
all these bronze machines enclosed in a room, I 
told you, like that, so that the bronze wouldn t 
fly around. There s a Chinaman, they used to 
have Chinamen feeding the sheets in. The boys 
would take the printed sheets from the pressroom 
and bring them into here, and the Chinaman would 
feed them and they would come out down here. 

Teiser: Page 33. 

Diedrichs: Here are two-color and single-color Miehle 

presses, looking south. This is George Winberg.- 

Teiser: Second from the left. 

Diedrichs: He was running the feeder on that press. He later 

Diedrichs: became foreman of that department. Here is 

Louis Traung of the litho press department. 

And George Hildebrand; he had charge of the 

block department. 
Teiser: I see. These are standing in the foreground, 

toward the right. 
Diedrichs: Yes, and these are all Miehle presses. That s 

a two-color Miehle press. And here s Andy 

Nelson, the pressman. 
Teiser: Second from the right. 
Diedrichs: He s the man that had his arm taken off. And 

if you look closely at these, you can see that 

they are all salmon labels, that I was telling 

you about. 
Teiser: Oh, yes! 

Page 34. 
Diedrichs: Pressroom, center aisle. These are Miehle presses 

here again. Here s George Hildebrand again, the 

Teiser: He s in the center with a piece of paper in his 


Diedrichs: And here is Andy Nelson. 
Teiser: To the right of Hildebrand. 
Diedrichs: He s the pressman on that two-color press. These 

all are, on each side of the aisle. 


Teiser: Miehles on both sides of the aisle? 

Diedrichs: Yes. 

Teiser: This is an automatic feeder, isn t it? 

Diedrichs: That s right. They had all automatic feeders 

after the fire. 
Teiser: Thirty-five. 

Diedrichs: North side of general pressroom. Here s Mr. 

Hildebrand again. 

Teiser: In the center foreground, leaning on the press. 

Diedrichs: Yes. Here s Joe Reyes; he s a pressman on that 

press . 

Teiser: Just to the left of Mr. Hildebrand. 
Diedrichs: Yes. I don t know the next man. Now there s a 

Miehle press with a bronzer attached, see? 
Teiser: Oh yes. To the distant left. 
Diedrichs: You see, it s coming up here and gone down this 


Teiser: Thirty-six. 

Diedrichs: General pressroom. And these are type presses. 

That s Mr. Hildebrand again. 
Teiser: Mr. Hildebrand is the first man to the right? 

Diedrichs: Yes. This is the brother-in-law of Charlie 

Traung, Charlie Farrell. 

Teiser: Charlie Farrell is the fellow in the foreground, 

with the moustache. Did he go to work with the 

See also p. 77 . 


Teiser: Traungs after they established their own com 
pany, or did he stay at Schmidt? 

Diedrichs: He was an apprentice. 

Teiser: He stayed at Schmidt? 

Diedri chs : Yes . 

Teiser: Thirty-seven. 

Diedrichs: These are cylinder presses. Embossing department 
Here s Mr. Rahsskopff again. 

Teiser: Little cap and goatee. 

Diedrichs: Can t miss him. This fellow here 

Teiser: Third from the right. 

Diedrichs: He was deaf and dumb. He used to work in the 

embossing department. He used to feed one of the 
embossing machines and later on became a pressman 
on an embossing machine. 

Teiser: Thirty-eight. Embossing department again. 

Diedrichs: These are platen presses. Mostly all embossing. 

Teiser: Thirty-nine. 

Diedrichs: Now here is the electrical department. Here is 
Max Schmidt, Ben s*brother. 

Teiser: To the left. 

Diedrichs: He had charge of the electric room, at that time. 

Tieser: He was a good-looking fellow, wasn t he? 

Max A. Schmidt, brother of Bernhard H. Schmidt. 


Diedrichs: He s a good-looking man yet, and he s seventy- 
si x years old. 
Teiser: I haven t met him. Well, you ve all stood up 

pretty wel 1 . 

Diedrichs: He s in wonderful shape. 
Teiser: Page 40. 
Diedrichs: This is the boiler room. That s Mr. Hancock, 

Bob Hancock, he had charge of the boiler room. 
Teiser: To the left. 

Page 41 . 
Diedrichs: This is the machine shop. Mr. Rahsskopff. 

This is Joe Wesphal , and this is Clarence Beach. 
Teiser: Let s see, Joe Wesphal is. . . 
Diedrichs: Sitting down there. 
Teiser: Fourth from the left, sitting. 
Diedrichs: Yes. 

Teiser: And Clarence Beach is.... 
Diedrichs: Right in back of him. 
Teiser: Back and to the right of him. 
Diedrichs: Yes. They both became foremen of that department, 

in later years. This is one of the mechanics. 

His name was Joe Crowley. I remembered his name. 
Teiser: Fourth from the right. 

Paae 42. 

Diedrichs: Looking west, electrotyping . That s something 

like the picture I showed you before [in the 1903 

album]. They used to do their own electrotyping. 

Here s the foreman. 

Teiser: To the far right, foreground. 
Diedrichs: Yes. His name was Ny 
Teiser: Forty-three. 
Diedrichs: Electrotyping department again. This is Mr. Ny 

again, the foreman. 
Teiser: Third from the right. 
Diedrichs: Yes, in the center there. 
Teiser: He looks like a casual sort. 
Diedrichs: Yes, it was a dirty job, out there. 
Teiser: Forty-four. 
Diedrichs: Paper seasoning department. This is Bill Lampe 

[pronounced Lam pee]. He had charge of the 

seasoning of paper. Now, see, this paper is all 

being seasoned, hung. 

Teiser: Forty-five. Box making and carpentry shop. 
Diedrichs: As I say, they used to make boxes to deliver 

labels in. They made the boxes up there. 
Teiser: Forty-six. 
Diedrichs: Cutting department. This fellow s name is 

Siebert. I was trying to think of his name before 
Teiser: With a little bow tie on, and the moustache. 


Diedrichs: Louis Siebert. He was the foreman of that 

department. He later committed suicide. He 
was a great friend of the old man s. 

Teiser: Forty-seven. 

Diedrichs: Die-cutting department. This is Henry Hageman 
again. We saw him on the other pages. 

Teiser: To the left. 

Diedrichs: I don t know who the others are. 

Teiser: This is 48. 

Diedrichs: And the varnish room again. Here s Henry Hageman 
again. He had charge of that. 

Teiser: To the left? 

Diedrichs: Yes. Here s where the varnish sheets came down 
here and up here and through all this dry pro 

Teiser: Oh, an oven. 

Diedrichs: That s right. That s in later years. 

Teiser: I see. So they didn t have to hang them on those 
racks any move. 

Diedrichs: Looking north, corrugated paper. They started a 
corrugating department in the old building, that 
is the building we moved into after the fire. 
This was on the third floor. As this department 
developed, it was moved across the street to 


Diedrichs: building number two, like you ve seen the new 
building over across the street. Andy Nelson 
had charge of that, the man who had his arm 
taken off he had charge of the department 
until he retired. 

Teiser: Fifty. Corrugated paper department. That s a 
cutter in the center there? 

Diedrichs: It s for stamping them out, you know, die cutting. 
It s a die cut . 

Teiser: Is that a gluing machine to the left? 

Diedrichs: That s what it looks like, yes. And John Munson. 

Teiser: Here s page 51. 

Diedrichs: Northside, corrugated paper department. This is 
the corrugated paper machine. They used to run 
the paper through there and corrugate it, and glue 

Teiser: Did the same machine both corrugate and glue? 

Diedrichs: Yes. The paper would go through and it would be 
corrugated and glued at the same time. 

Teiser: Now I ll ask you about these if I may. I don t 
think I showed you this one. I ll read the 
numbers on them. This is number 52. This is just 
for our record keeping, so this will be keyed to 
them. Do you recognize when this was, or what the 
occasion was? 

Separate Schmidt Lithograph Company photographs. 


Diedrichs: Yes, this was at the time of the war, in 1945 
or whatever i t was . 

Teiser: Or 18, 1918, do you think? 

Diedrichs: They were wearing those dresses to protect them 
selves around the presses. She was a press 
feeder, and they couldn t wear skirts. 

Teiser: Oh, is that right? 

Diedrichs: Yes. This is the main pressroom, the aisle. 
Here s the skylight I was telling you about. 
That s the middle aisle of the pressroom. They 
were taking donations for the benefit of the war 
at that time. And I can tell you pretty near 
everyone in the picture. 

Teiser: Who s the woman in the center there? 

Diedrichs: I know her, but I don t know her name. The 
gentleman that s here is Vic Olsen. 

Teiser: The man standing out in front? 

Diedrichs: Yes. That s myself right here. 

Teiser: Oh, you re right under that sheaf of light. 

Diedrichs: You see, the light is going right through. 

Teiser: Yes. You have your sleeves rolled up. And you 
have on overalls over your shirt. It must have 
been the First World War. 

Diedrichs: That s right. This is Joe WesDhal. He was 
foreman of the machine shop. 


Teiser: He s with the hat on, just to your left. 
Diedrichs: Yes. Here s George Simonsen. He was a press 
man down there. 

Teiser: He s to the left of him. 
Diedrichs: This is Frank Schmidt. 

Teiser: That s the bald fellow, second from the left. 
Diedrichs: Yes. He was a pressman down there. 
Teiser: He was the Schmidt who was no relation? 
Diedrichs: That s right. I know all these fellows. That s 

Dick Heinrich. He was a transferer. 
Teiser: Oh yes, the fellow all the way to the left 

edge. Who s the fellow with the eyeshade on in 

the center? 

Diedrichs: Possnecke his name was. [Poss-necR-ee] 
Teiser: And this was a rally to raise money, was it? 
Diedrichs: That s right. And this bald-headed man, I think 

his name was Louderdale. He was foreman of the 

job department. 

Teiser: He s right behind Mr. Olsen s hand. 
Diedrichs: This fellow up here is Arty Hartman. He was a 

type pressman. With the overalls. 
Teiser: Just to the right of this hanging lamp, the lamp 

hanging against a post. 
Diedrichs: This fellow here with the hat on is Bergk, Billy 

Bergk. He was a pressman. 


Teiser: Just below Hartman. 
Diedrichs: Next to him is Joe Reyes. 

Teiser: To his right, with the shirt sleeves rolled up. 
Diedrichs: Yes. This is Dick Bailey. 
Teiser: To the right of Joe Reyes. 
Diedrichs: That s right. And just looking over his head is 

Fred Muriset. He was a pressman. This boy 

worked for me but I can t think of his name-- 

oh, Bolls, that s right. 
Teiser: Where is he? 
Diedrichs: Next to Mr. Muriset. 
Teiser: I see, to the right of Mr. Muriset. 
Diedrichs: Yes. Next to him is Mr. Winberg. 
Teiser: To the right of him. 

Diedrichs: He later became foreman of the department. 
Teiser: Of the pressroom? 

Diedrichs: Of the printing pressroom. This is Jack Barnes. 
Teiser: Next to him, to the right. 
Diedrichs: He ran the embossing department at that time. 

Next is John Munson. 

Teiser: You can just hardly see him over somebody. 
Diedrichs: That s right. This is George Hart. 
Teiser: Second from the right. 
Diedrichs: You can see him looking up. He was a pressman. 

Right in front of him was Mr. Ben Schmidt. In the 



Teiser: In the vest and striped shirt. 

Diedrichs: That s right. And this fellow with the shade 

on is Mr. Iken. You know we spoke of him in an 
other picture. 

Teiser: This is the group of plant pictures that I told 
you about. I have numbered them all. Here s 
112, "Section of the Artist Department." 

Diedrichs: That s right. 

Teiser: About when was that? 

Diedrichs: Oh, I couldn t tell you the year. Gee, if I 

only had time to think of some of these I could 
think of the names. That s Max Schmidt here. 

Teiser: Second from the left. Which Max? "German Max"-- 
Max Schmidt, Jr.? 

Diedrichs: German Max, yes. This is Charlie Lindecker, the 
man standing up there. 

Teiser: Standing next to the desk, in the right half of 
the picture. 

And here is "Battery of Harris two-color offset 
presses," 112-B. 

Diedrichs: That s right. Yes, those were two-color presses 
that were put in--it could have been around 20, 
somewhere around in there, yes. There were three 
of them in a row there, I m pretty sure. 

Teiser: This again is the artist department. This is 
number 110. 

Diedrichs: The main one in the picture is Max Schmidt, Jr. 

agai n . 
Teiser: He s to the right, the man standing to the right. 

And here s 109, which is the litho pressroom. 
Diedrichs: I couldn t tell you the exact year. But I can 

tell you some of the men in the picture. 
Teiser: Fine. 
Diedrichs: This is Vic Olsen. 
Teiser: On the left. 
Diedrichs: The next one is Ben Schmidt. This is Arthur 

Evans . 

Teiser: Next to him. 
Diedrichs: He was a pressman at that time. He later had a 

business of his own. 
Teiser: What are these presses? 
Diedrichs: All Harris. 
Teiser: Number 108. I don t know if there s much to be 

said about the carton gluing machines. 
Diedrichs: Well, that s in the box department. 
Teiser: Are these cartons, these in the foreground to the 

right, on the table? 
Diedrichs: Yes. 

Teiser: That s what they were working on? 
Diedrichs: You see, they re all cut out. They re die-cut, 

and then they re folded and glued. They go 

through a folding machine, and are glued. 


Telser: Would they use that many people in that department 

Diedrichs: Oh yes. It all depends on the size of the plant. 
I guess they did the largest raisin carton busi 
ness on the coast here for a good many years. 
And here s the foreman again, Mr. Pierce. 

Teiser: Oh, with the great moustache and the cap? 

Diedrichs: That s right. 

Teiser: Second from the right. 

Diedrichs: That s right. 

Teiser: Let s see. I m leafing through some of these 

that Mr. Ben Schmidt has identified pretty thor 
oughly. This is a fascinating little picture. 
This is 74--of apparently Max Schmidt s original 
press, Max Senior s. 

Diedrichs: Yes. It s an old-style hand press. 

Teiser: Was it ever intended for production? 

Diedrichs: Well, yes, production at that timeone impression 
at a time. 

Teiser: How big a sheet would that handle? I can t tell 
the scale. 

Diedrichs: That s only a 22-inch sheet. That s all. 

Teiser: Here s a pressroom one, 71. "Second lithographing 
pressroom. . .Thi s company does a large proportion 
of seed bags . " 


Diedrichs: Those were all seed bags. I was telling you 

about the Schonings. When the company brought 
over the Galloway Lithograph Company, they came 
over and set up their presses on the third 
floor over there in the new building, the one 
across the street. 

Teiser: Yes. And this is their pressroom? 

Diedrichs: That s right. 

Teiser: The one that the Schonings ran? 

Diedrichs: Yes. 

Teiser: What presses were those? 

Diedrichs: Those were Harris single-color presses. Later on 
we had two or three four-color presses over there, 
after I got to be superintendent. Why I had 
charge of that department after that. All but the 
seed bag. Herbert Schoning ran the seed bag 

Teiser: Here s picture 70. 

Diedrichs: This is the new press that they installed down 
at. . . just before I left, a year or so before 
I left. That s a new two-color press. This is 
Max Schmidt, Jr. 

Teiser: To the left. 

Diedrichs: Beside him is Morton Schmidt. And this is Carl 
Schmidt. And I know this gentleman s name, but 


Diedrichs: I can t think of it right now. And that s 
mysel f . 

Teiser: That s what I thought. This is from left to 
right. This was on the installation of a 
new two-color, was that it? 

Diedrichs: I believe it was. 

Teiser: Maybe the man standing up on top there was some 
body who represented the press company? 

Diedrichs: He was with the Harris Company, es . The gentle 
man s name was Mr. Willis, I think. He s standing 
on the platform. 

Teiser: Here s picture number 57. Is that the same press? 

Diedrichs: I m pretty sure it is. At any rate, it s a two- 
color offset press. Here s the assistant. The 
feeder is Mike Maloney, up here. 

Teiser: To the left. 

Diedrichs: Standing up. And this is a Harris mechanic. 
I can t think of his name now. 

Teiser: To the right of him. 

Diedrichs: And this is Urvan Pack. He was tne pressman. 

Teiser: To the right side. Let me ask you what this is... 
numbered 103. 

Diedrichs: From what I hearthis is a picture of Main Street, 
the shop down on Main Street. Here s all the 
presses, and they had a balcony going around in 
the storeroom. 


Telser: This was before you knew the company? 
Diedrichs: Before the fire, and before I went with the 

company, down on Main Street. They are all 

stone presses. 

Teiser: And this one, 92, this looks like a later one. 
Diedrichs: Yes. This is the present pressroom, right now. 
Teiser: In the main building or the new building? 
Diedrichs: In the main building, not the new building. 

And this is a Harris press with a bronzer attached 
Teiser: This is in the left part of the picture. 
Diedrichs: The sheets going here through the bronzer, there. 

This is the bronzer. 

Teiser: The bronzer is off to the left edge. 
Diedrichs: The pressman is standing on top. His name is 

Clarence Hughes. And this is the foreman at 

the time, Vic Olsen, standing there. 
Teiser: Standing to the right. 
Diedrichs: Right in back of that is another Harris press 

with the bronzer attached. Those two presses 

are on the main aisle down there. 
Teiser: I see. That s the press to the right of the 


This is picture 72. It s dated 1920. 

Diedrichs: Yes, I know all these fellows. That s Ed Ander 
son; he s a pressman. 


Teiser: To the left. 

Diedrichs: Next to him is ... I forget his first name, 
but his name is Bowles. Next to him is Fat 
Millard. And next to him is Ed Pierce, Jr., son 
of the foreman of the box department. 

Teiser: What is that, a two-color? 

Diedrichs: Yes. Sitting up there on the two-color press. 
Ed Anderson ran the press. 

Teiser: This is 75, the ink-making department. That s 
a fairly recent one too, I guess. 

Diedrichs: Yes, it is. This is after the ink department was 
pretty well established. That s just a section 
of the ink department. 

Teiser: What are those machines running down the aisle? 

Diedrichs: Those were where they grind the ink. As I told 
you, they used to buy the powders and varnishes, 
say, yellow, or red, or dark blue, or whatever it 
was. They had a mixing machine where they mixed 
the powder and the varnish together in these 
tubs. Then they d have to run it through this 
ink mill. They had three or four of them, and 
there were more in the other part. And this 1s 
the foreman I was speaking to you about. 

Teiser: He s the man in the white shirt and the overalls. 

Diedrichs: Under the lamp. 

Telser: Standing against the lighted lamp, against a 

pillar. What did the finished ink come out in? 

This sort of tub? 
Diedrichs: Yes, they put a tub. Here he s taking out the 

mixed powder. It s like a lot of dough. 
Teiser: This is the man in the center. 
Diedrichs: He puts it in here and it goes between rollers 

that squeeze it. They run it through this ink 

mill, sometimes twice. It comes out in the tub 

back here. It s all in ink form. 
Teiser: Are these tubs to the lower left? Is that the 

kind of tub it would come out in? 
Diedrichs: That s right. 

Teiser: They had handles for carrying them around. 
Diedrichs: That s right. 

Teiser: How were they transported around the plant? 
Diedrichs: On little dollies. There s one of them right here. 
Teiser: Oh, I see, to the left center. 
Diedrichs: Just lift them up on that and roll them around. 
Teiser: Oh, yes, four wheels on them. Back here is a 

little higher one. 
Diedrichs: They used to put these tubs on top of that dolly 

to make it handy to feed the ink mill. 
Teiser: This is picture 76. Let me ask you about this. 

This must have been one of the many celebrations. 

What was the event? 


Diedrichs: I have no idea. I can t think of that now. 

That s all up in the office. I wouldn t know 
offhand just what that s all about. 

Teiser: There were a good many festivities were there, 
at Schmidt Lithograph? 

Diedrichs: A picnic every year. We had what they called a 
Social Society. It explained in that book* 
what the Social Society was. It went on to tell 
you what benefits they gave us. 

Teiser: The people who belonged to the society paid a 
little dues? 

Diedrichs: They paid $.75 and the firm paid $.75. We used 
to get sick benefits and doctor care. 

Teiser: Doctor care! 

Diedrichs: That s right. The working members in the plant-- 
those are the people that got sick benefits and 
doctor care. But office help belonged to the 
Social Society, but just as social members. I 
believe they got doctor care, but no sick benefits 

Teiser: This was not written into your union contract the 
way i t i s now, was i t? 

Diedrichs: Oh no. 

Teiser: This was a company. . . 

Diedrichs: Company affair. 

Dedication of Plant No. Two. 


Teiser: Did you get good doctor care? 

Diedrichs: Had a steady doctor. 

Teiser: Was there a company doctor? 

Diedrichs: Company doctor. Dr. Olsen his name was. He was 
the son of a foreman down there, name of Vic 
Olsen. He started to work down in the shop as 
a boy down there and went to Cal ; became a doctor 

Teiser: Did he keep hours in the plant? 

Diedrichs: No. He had an office. But everyone in the 

Schmidt Lithograph Company went to see Dr. Olsen 
when anything was wrong with him, and really got 
Dr. Olsen started in his business. They d tell 
their friends about Dr. Olsen, and built up his 
clientele. He s still in business. 

Teiser: Do you still go to him? 

Diedrichs: No. 

Teiser: Suppose you got in the hospital. Did it pay 
your hospital costs? 

Diedrichs: I think you got sick benefits for a certain 
length of time. 

Teiser: In lieu of your salary? 

Diedrichs: That s right. You d get so much a week for the 
length of time you were off, and that lasted so 
many weeks or so many months. It s so far away, 
I don t remember. 


Teiser: This is the sort of thing the unions later 

demanded, isn t it? 

Diedrichs: That s right. We had that all prior to that. 

Teiser: When you got to the supervisory level, did you 

still have those benefits? 

Diedrichs: While you were in the factory. 

Teiser: Anyone who was in production? 

Diedrichs: That s right. 

Teiser: There were a lot of pictures of parties, in 

which there apparently were elaborate decorations 
and signs and everything. Were those just for 
the men? 

Diedrichs: No, the whole plant. You d sign up if you wanted 
to go. They d have them in the cafeteria, or 
once a year they d have a big event in the big 
Native Sons Hall, or something like that, big 
affair, dancing and all. 

Teiser: Who paid for that? 

Diedrichs: Well, I can t remember how that was taken care of 
The Social Society paid for most of it. Some 
times the plant would go in. 

Teiser: There were some pictures that looked as if they 

were stags. 

Diedrichs: That was all salesmen s conventions every year. 

They d call all the salesmen in from all the out 
lying offices, all through the East and Honolulu. 

Diedrichs: They d be here for maybe a week, two weeks, hold 

their meetings in the afternoon and they d go 

out to dinner at night. Whole bunch of salesman. 

The company took care of the tab. 
Teiser: Did any of the men from the plant go with them? 

Were you involved in that, for instance. 
Diedrichs: Well, the salesmen had their regular dinners after 

their meetings. Then they d have a big dinner for 

the salesmen and the men from the plant the heads 

of the departments were asked. They must have a 

lot of pictures of that. 

Teiser: This is 113. This must have been World War I. 
Diedrichs: Yes. We all had to wear masks there at that time. 
Teiser: Did you wear them to work in? 
Diedrichs: Absolutely. 
Teiser: What were these people doing? They re making 

masks, maybe. . . sewing them? 
Diedrichs: They could be sewing them. You were compelled to 

wear masks all the time. This is Ben Schmidt here 
Teiser: Standing up, to the left. 
Diedrichs: That s right, that s Ben. 
Teiser: This is January 12, 1925. This is number 114. I 

wanted to ask you to identify people in it, but 

is this one of the dinners you were speaking of? 
Diedrichs: That s right, that s one of the dinners; you see, 

they all got their names on all the cards. 


Teiser: These are salesmen and supervisory personnel? 

Diedrichs: That s right. Men from the pressroom and from 

the transfer room, from the shipping room, the 

cutting room and the varnish room, carpenter shop 
Teiser: Where do you think this was held? 

Diedrichs: Let s see. . . It was a very prominent place 

at that time. There s my picture right there. 
Teiser: Oh, there you are. Let s see. You re behind 

Jack . 

Diedrichs: That s Jack Barnes. That s Bill Bray, the fore 
man of the bindery. This was Metzger. 
Teiser: Adrien Metzger. 

Diedrichs: That s right. This is Joe Wesphal , foreman of 

the machine shop. There s Louis Brune. 
Teiser: He has on a stiff collar and you can just see 

the "L" on his badge. 
Diedrichs: He was in the office. 
Teiser: Who was Charlie, here? 

Diedrichs: Charlie Bowen, he was a salesman. 
Teiser: This is the Charlie to the left. There s another 

Charlie over here just to the right center. Who 

was he? 
Diedrichs: He was an outside salesman. I wouldn t know him. 

There s Ben Schmidt back there. 

Teiser: Oh, I see. He has "Ben" on his tag. He has 

glasses. Your badge is hidden there, isn t it? 
Diedrichs: That s right. 

Teiser: Is this Max Schmidt at the head of the table? 
Diedrichs: Just a minute. That s Richard Schmidt. Max 

Schmidt is right over there. Can you see him 

Teiser: Oh, yes. He s third to the left of Richard 


Here is an October 1920 "house warming." This 

is picture number 115. 
Diedrichs: This was taken in the building, upstairs in the 

cafeteria, on the fifth floor. 
Teiser: What were they warming? 
Diedrichs: I can t just think of the occasion. Just another 

of those parties. 

Teiser: The fellow with the white goatee? 
Diedrichs: That s Mr. Rahsskopff. 
Teiser: The first time I ve seen him without a cap on. 

He s the first man on the left, with a white 

goatee and moustache. Next to him is a lady. 

Who is she, Mrs. Max? 
Diedrichs: No, I don t believe so. I couldn t say who it is. 

I m not sure; I wouldn t want to say. 
Teiser: Who is the gentleman whose arm she has her hand on? 


D i e d r i c h s : 

Tei ser: 
Diedrichs : 
Tei ser: 
Diedrichs : 

Diedrichs : 

Tei ser: 
Diedrichs : 

Tei ser: 

Diedri chs : 
Diedrichs : 

Tei ser: 

That s Mr. Max Schmidt. There s Mr. Richard 
over here again. 
Wi th a whi te ribbon on . 
That s right. 

And this must be a bust of Mr. Max Schmidt. 
That s right. I could tell you a couple more. 
This is Mr. Lindecker, in back of Mr. Richard. 
Just behind, with a big, stiff white color on. 
That s right. He had charge of the art depart 

This is number 116. 
That was a salesmen s party. 
January 1930. 

You see, they were all men there. I can identify 
some of them if you d like to know some of them. 
Yes. The man with the goatee here and the 
glasses, holding a glass. 
That s Mr. Richard Schmidt. 
He s three to the left of the center pillar. 
Yes. And the man with his head almost next to 
him is Bill Reed. He was a pressman. 
The man looking down, just to the left of 
Richard Schmidt? 

Yes. Then to the left of him, again, is Mr. 
Richard Schmidt, Max Schmidt Senior s son. 

Teiser: Which one? This one? The one with his head 

way down, kind of bald on top? 

Diedrichs: That s right. And here s Mr. Max Schmidt, Sr. 
Teiser: Just to the right of the pillar, yes. 
Diedrichs: And this gentleman here is Bill Bookey. 
Teiser: [In the center] Shaking something. What s he 

Diedrichs: I don t know what he s doing. 

Here s Carl Schmidt. 

Teiser: He s four from the right end. 
Diedrichs: I am right here. 
Teiser: Oh, there you are. There s not much of you 

showi ng. 
Diedrichs: I m right behind the big fat guy, the top of his 

head. I m looking over his head, almost. 
Teiser: Where was this held? 
Diedrichs: This was held down in the shop on the fifth floor 

They had a special bar made up there just for the 

occasion. There s a big bar there; you can t 

see it. 
Teiser: There s another. This is 117. What in the world 

was that event, in which someone was queen of 

somethi ng? 

Diedrichs: They crowned a queen that time. 
Teiser: The queen of what? 

Diedrichs: I don t know whether it was the Social Society 

or some similar event. It was in Native Sons 

Hall, I believe. Yes, Native Sons Hall. 
Teiser: Who was the queen? Do you recognize her? 
Diedrichs: Yes, I know her. In fact, I believe she s down 

there yet. Louise Something. I can t think of 

her last name. That stuck to her for all these 

years. They still talk about the queen. 
Teiser: Oh, is that right? [Laughter] 
Diedrichs: Yes, the queen. You can see some mob there, 

can t you. There s Mr. Max Schmidt there. 
Teiser: With the paper hat on? 
Diedrichs: That s right. 
Teiser: [Laughter] In profile, with his arm on a man s 

shoulder. And this is Mr. Richard Schmidt, 

isn t it? 

Diedrichs: That s right. 

Teiser: To the right of the queen, in three-quarter view. 
Diedrichs: There were picnics every year. 
Teiser: Where were the picnics held? 
Diedrichs: For a while, the first ones were held over in 

Alameda. What was that park over there? 
Teiser: Neptune Beach? 
Diedrichs: Neptune Beach. They had several over there. Then 

they used to go down to Mission San Jose. Do you 


Diedrichs: know that park down there? 
Tei ser : No, I don t . 
Diedri chs : [Cal Is] Mom! 
Mrs. D.: What? 
Diedrichs: What s that park down at Mission San Jose we used 

to have our picnics at? 

Mrs. D.: It could have been called Warm Springs. 
Diedrichs: Do you remember this picture? [Number 117] 

Remember, that was up 1n Native Sons Hall? 
Mrs. D.: Yes. We sat up there, I think, up in the balcony. 

Didn t we? 
Diedrichs: Yes. 
Teiser: Who was the queen? 

Diedrichs: Louise--! don t know what her last name was. 
Mrs. D.: I don t know her last name either. She isn t so 

young today, but she wasn t a bad looking girl. 
Teiser: This is 119. That s that bar you were mentioning, 

isn t it? [In connection with photograph number 


Diedrichs: Yes. There s Mr. Max Schmidt. 
Teiser: In the dark suit, third from left. 
Diedrichs: Here s Herb Cardozo. 
Teiser: Fifth from the left. 
Diedrichs: Next to him is Mr. Richard Schmidt [sixth from 

the left]. And he s a salesman; I can t think of 


Diedrichs: his name. There s Jack Barnes and John Munson. 
Teiser: In the foreground, to the right. 
Diedrichs: They were the guys that were part of the Social 

Teiser: Jack Barnes is second from the right, and Munson 

is just on the edge there? 
Diedrichs: That s right. 

Teiser: This is number 120, January 15, 1930. 
Diedrichs: That was the entrance to the bar. 

Teiser: My word! They did it up elaborately, didn t they? 
Diedrichs: Yes. 

Teiser: Here s a color picture, 121. Louis Traung. 
Diedrichs: Yes. That s Louis, all right. I learned the 

trade under Louis Traung. 
Teiser: He was always, later, a good friend of the Schmidt 

Lithograph Company? 

Diedrichs: Oh, yes, they were very friendly. 
Teiser: Although they were rivals for business? 
Diedrichs: Oh, yes, absolutely. 
Teiser: Here are 140, 141, and 139. Do you think these 

are at one of the picnics? 
Diedrichs: Could have been. Yes, it could have been the 

races. You know, they had races and everything. 

It could have been one of the picnics. See, they re 

running around here. That s what they are, the 


Diedrlchs: races at the picnic. 

Teiser: They had some for girls and some for men, I 
guess . 

Diedrichs: That s right. Then at the picnics you could 

invite your family or your friends, you know, pay 
a little extra for their ticket. But they had 
gate prizes just for the employees. They had 
very nice gate prizes. Some were money, and 
hams and bacon and all that stuff. They put on 
a big time . 

Teiser: This is 138. 

Diedrichs: That s "Stew" Norris. 

Teiser: To the left. 

Diedrichs: Here s a Harris erector [center]. I can t think 
of his name now. And that s myself there, right. 
We were celebrating something. You see, we ve 
all got a glass in our hands. 

Teiser: Yes. This is 131. Must be the same event. 

Diedrichs: Carl Schmidt is making a speech there. This is 
Carl Schmidt. 

Teiser: To the right. 

Diedrichs: This is Norris again, here. 

Teiser: To the far left, lower corner. 

Diedrichs: Yes. And this fellow in here is Morton Schmidt, 
you know. 

Diedrichs: You can just see his head there. Yes, these 

are all . . .1 believe that was some celebration 

in the pressroom. 
Teiser: This is number 134. I expect you recognize 

these people. 

Diedrichs: That s Ben Schmidt again, here. 
Teiser: To the left. 
Diedrichs: And this is a Harris salesman. I can t think of 

his name. And myself. 

Teiser: You re naming them from left to right. 
Diedrichs: Over on the end is Mike Maloney. 
Teiser: The fellow standing at the right end. 
Diedrichs: I can t think of the other fellows names. They 

all worked for me, but I can t think of their 

names . 
Teiser: Here s one that goes back a little further. It s 

number 147. 
Diedrichs: Yes. It s taken in the office. Ben could tell 

you more about it. The only ones I know in 

there are Carl Schmidt and Mr. Schoof. 
Teiser: Carl Schmidt is to the right and Mr. Schoof is 

standing just behind him? 
Diedrichs: Yes. 
Teiser: This is 149. In the center is Mr. Max Schmidt. 

Do you recognize either of the other men? 

Mrs. D.: Do you want to see a couple more old ones? 

[photographs] . 

Telser: Oh, you ve got some. . . 
Mrs. D.: These are the ones in the pressroom. There 

was I. There s my sister. 
Teiser: What beautiful hats you have on! Are you in 

that, or just your wife and her sister? 
Diedrichs: My wife and her sister, and. . . no, I m not in 

it. Those were all girl feeders down there. 

He was a feeder too. He was a feeder. He was 

a feeder, Bi 1 1 Brune . 
Teiser: The girls were a little outnumbered a few more 

men than girls. 
Diedrichs: That s right. 

Teiser: And here s another of your pictures. 
Diedrichs: That s a recent one. 
Teiser: Is this your whole pressroom crew? 
Diedrichs: Yes. Here I am on the end. This is Bill Doyle 

This fellow s name is Schubkagel . Here s Bob 

Schmid. Every one of these fellows was in the 


Teiser: And here s an old Chinese fellow. 
Diedrichs: Yes. 
Teiser: What was he? 
Diedrichs: He used to work on the bronze machines. 


Teiser: That late they continued to have Chinese on 
the bronze machines? 

Diedrichs: Well, they had the Chinamen that take care of 
the old bronze, they sift the old bronze. On 
some jobs we d use part old bronze and part new. 
Some of the jobs wouldn t take a brand new bronze 
because the condition of the ink wasn t dry enough, 
and the bronze would take all over instead of 
just where the work was. So when you put old 
bronze mixed with it, it didn t have that effect. 

Teiser: I see. 

Mrs. D.: Here s a couple other ones. This was 1949. And 
this is you. February 15, 1949. 

Teiser: This was a luncheon group. 

Mrs. D.: It must have been an anniversary or. . . 

Diedrichs: It was a party for somebody. That s right, 
somebody retiring. 

Diedrichs: There s Mr. Norris. It was over in North Beach. 

Mrs. D.: Tivoli or something? 

Diedrichs: Bill Doyle. Bobby Schmid. Fat Anderson. My 

Teiser: This is another one of your pictures. You re 
looking at a sheet of labels. 

Diedrichs: Labels, yes. 

Photographs belonging to Mr. and Mrs. Diedrichs. 

Telser: Let s not get your pictures mixed up. I ll put 

them aside and go back to these I have with me. 

This is 150. Must be another one of those 

picni cs . 
Diedrichs: See, it was a race. They had to run here and 

put something in the box there and run back with 

something. That was how that worked. 

Teiser: Here s 151. Is this Mr. Schoof in the foreground? 
Diedrichs: That s right, Mr. Schoof. His son worked down 

there too. He was a school professor, I believe, 

at one time. 

Teiser: What did he do in the company? 
Diedrichs: Oh, he was a great friend of the old man, Max, 

and had a job down there in the office. I don t 

know just what it was. 
Teiser: This is 152. 
Diedrichs: That looks like Mr. Iken. 
Teiser: Who was he? 
Diedrichs: He was an engraver, I believe, and he had charge 

of the engraving room down there. 
Teiser: This is 153 and there s a memorandum that says 

"Here s a picture of the Lustour Plant enlarged 

from Otto Schoning s snapshot." What s that? 
Diedrichs: I don t know it. There s a saying there [on the 

memorandum] that old man Max got up: "Write it. 

Don t say I told you so. " 

Diedrichs: Whenever you d make an excuse about anything, 

"Always write it down and you can t go wrong." 

"Don t say I told you so. Write it." 
Teiser: Whose signature is that on that memorandum? 
Diedrichs: That s Richard Schmidt. 
Teiser: Who s G. Taylor on the list? 
Diedrichs: George Taylor; he was treasurer down there at 

one time. 

Teiser: And what was Wuthman Senior? What was his job? 
Diedrichs: Toward the end he had Mr. Rahsskopff s job. 

Before that he had charge of the corrugated 

department in building no. 2. 
Teiser: What did Lorenz Schmidt do? 
Diedrichs: He was head of the salesmen. He later became 


Teiser: What did Verne Bonetti do? 
Diedrichs: He was an accountant down there. Harry Anderson, 

he was the purchasing agent. 
Teiser: And B. Hammon? 
Diedrichs: Hammon was an accountant. 
Teiser: P. Crain? 
Diedrichs: He was personnel. 
Teiser: And B. Dixon? 
Diedrichs: He was a salesman? 
Teiser: Guy Street? 


Diedrichs: He was a salesman. 

Telser: I thought he was an artist too, wasn t he, or 
a designer or something? 

Diedrichs: He designed too, that s right. 

Teiser: B. H. Schmidt. 

Diedrichs: Ben Schmidt. 

Teiser: N. Hamilton? 

Diedrichs: Norman Hamilton, he worked under Ben Schmidt. 

Teiser: E. Wuthmann, Jr. What did he do? 

Diedrichs: That was Senior s son. In recent years he took 
over Max Schmidt s job, after Max retired. 

Teiser: In the factory office? 

Diedrichs: Head of the plate making and artists and all that. 

Teiser: The job that Max Schmidt had had earlier? 

Diedrichs: That s right. Ben had charge of the factory 

office. Max had charge of all the platemaking 
and all the art work. He okayed color sheets for 
the pressman. In general he was . . . 

Teiser: On top of production? 

Diedrichs: That s right. 

Teiser: R. Duerson? 

Diedrichs: Duerson, he was a salesman. 

Teiser: . S. Norris. What did Stewart Norris do? 

Diedrichs: He finally took over Ben Schmidt s job. He worked 
under Ben Schmidt. 

Max Schmidt, Jr. 


Teiser: And Dolly somebody. 

Diedrichs: Dolly, Dolly, Dolly--she was a secretary. 
Teiser: It looks like "Ohls." 
Diedrichs: She was Morton Schmidt s secretary. 
Teiser: These we ve gone over are all people on this 

1953 memo attached to photograph number 153. 
Diedrichs: Any memos or any letters or anything that had to 

go around the plant, they d check off the ones 

who were to see it. 

Teiser: Then the men initialed them after they d seen it? 
Diedrichs: That s right. 


Bernhard H. Schmidt, referred to among members 
of the Schmidt family and firm as Ben, was born in 1884 in 
San Francisco. The son of Richard Schmidt and the nephew of 
Max Schmidt, he was one of the generation that he referred 
to in his interview as "the juniors." Following graduation 
from the Lick School of Mechanical Arts, he went to sea 
briefly before going to work at the Schmidt Lithograph 
Company in 1905. He became superintendent first of the 
lithograph department, then of the entire plant. His title 
was "factory superintendent" at the time of his retirement 
in 1959. 

The following interview was given at the San 
Anselmo home of Bernhard H. Schmidt on May 25, June 1, and 
June 13, 1967. Little editing was done by the interviewer, 
and no changes but a few name additions were made by Mr. 
Schmi dt . 



The Family and the Company 

Telser: May I begin by asking you when and where you 
were born? 

B. H. Schmidt: I was born on March 14, 1884, in San Fran 
cisco, on Sacramento Street, next door to a 
Chinese laundry. 

Teiser: And your father had come. . .? 

B. H. Schmidt: He came, I couldn t say when. I wouldn t know. 
I was going to say 79, was it? He was Richard 
Schmidt, Max Schmidt s brother. Mr. Max had 
started the business and he got so busy he 
wanted some help, so he got my father. And 
later on he got his brother-in-law, Mr. Rahss- 
kopff. Have you ever heard of Mr. Rahsskopff? 

Teiser: Mr. Max Schmidt, Jr., mentioned him. 

B. H. Schmidt: Carl Rahsskopff. He was a mechanic around the 
factory at the time. Of course, I didn t. . . 
well, I graduated from Lick School in 1905, 
and I went to sea for a couple of months. Then 
I went to get a job in the Schmidt Lithograph 
Company, in 1905. That was about six months, 
or a year before the fire. 

Teiser: What was your first job there? 


B. H. Schmidt: Shipping department. Then the fire came, 

and I was driving a truck over in Oakland for 
the Schmidt Lithograph Company. We moved 
there and stayed there for two years. 

Teiser: You lived and worked there? 

B. H. Schmidt: No, we lived in San Rafael, but commuted back 
and forth to Oakland every day. 

Teiser: Was a plant set up there, a manufacturing 

B. H. Schmidt: There was the Wempe Brothers paper box plant. 

You ll find it in the book there. We bought 

that out. Wempe stayed on one floor, and we 

had the other three. 
Teiser: How could you adapt paper box machinery to use 

in 1 abel printi ng? 
B.H. Schmidt: We had the paper box plant before, over in the 

city, and we just stayed with it. 
Teiser: Did you do some label printing too, there in 

B. H. Schmidt: Oh yes, labels and paper boxes, called cartons. 

We finally got into posters, 24 sheet posters. 
Teiser: In Oakland? 
B. H. Schmidt: No, wel 1 ... 

Teiser: When you came back to San Francisco? 
B. H. Schmidt: Yes. In the meantime we had built the plant 


Elford, Eddy, The Log of a Cabin Boy, privately 
printed, San Francisco, 1922. 


B. H. Schmidt: at Second and Bryant Street, rebuilt it. 

The one that was dynamited [at the time of 
the earthquake and fire]. 

Teiser: Were you there when it was dynamited? 

B. H. Schmidt: I was the last man out of the factory. You 
see, they dynamited our building to save the 
St. Mary s Hospital, which was a wooden build 
ing two blocks below. They tried to save that 
from the fire, but everything went, you know. 

Teiser: Were you able to get anything out of the 

B. H. Schmidt: No, not very much. We didn t know where to 
store it. 

Teiser: Did you get papers or anything of the sort? 

B. H. Schmidt: Well, I think they got the office papers, but 
that s about all. Nobody came to work that 
morning except my father and my uncle. They 
stayed there and ate my lunch. Then they went 
to Mill Valley. My father went to San Rafael; 
he lived in San Rafael. I stayed out right 
at 614 Sacramento Street. That s where I was 
born. Stayed there for two weeks until the 
fire was out. Then we went down to the factory 
and tried to dig up what we could. 

Teiser: Could you recover anything from the ruins of 

B. H. Schmidt: Not too much, no. If they hadn t dynamited 

we might have saved more. 
Teiser: No equipment? 

B. H. Schmidt: No. No, it was pretty well gutted. 
Teiser: Were you there when they dynamited? 
B. H. Schmidt: No, we were told to get out. 
Teiser: You didn t stay around and watch? 
B. H. Schmidt: No. 
Teiser: It must have been a terrible blow to your Uncle 

Max and your father too. 
B. H. Schmidt: Yes. Terrible blow to all of us. Because we 

were all interested in the business, you know. 
Teiser: May I ask you about your family? Your 

brothers are. . . ? 
B. H. Schmidt: Carl Schmidt and Max A. Schmidt. You know, 

there are two Max Schmidts: Max A., my 

oldest brother, and Max H. who came in from 


Teiser: Yes. Max H. is "German Max?" 
B. H. Schmidt: German Max, yes. 

Teiser: Your brother Carl is younger or older than you? 
B. H. Schmidt: He s two years older than I am. 
Teiser: I see. You re the youngest. 
B. H. Schmidt: Yes. 
Teiser: Do you have any sisters? 

B. H. Schmidt: I had a twin sister, but she didn t live 

very long. 
Teiser: I see. Then Max Schmidt Senior s children 

were . . . ? 
B. H. Schmidt: Richard Schmidt and Mathilda Schmidt, Wuthmann 

now. He had one more, Emile Schmidt, but he 

was mentally wrong and didn t live very long. 
Teiser: And then German Max? 
B. H. Schmidt: He was adopted by my uncle. 
Teiser: I see. Let me go over these same people and 

ask you what their functions in the business 

were. Your older brother, Max? 
B. H. Schmidt: My older brother Max was an electrician and 

mechanical superintendent of the plant. 

Brother Carl was in the sales end of it. He 

was sales manager and was president of the 

company for a while. 
Teiser: Then your cousin Max? 
B. H. Schmidt: He went in as a ... oh, sort of in the art 

department, and in what we call the transfer 

department, and that end of the business, 

making plates for the presses. 
Teiser: And your cousin Richard? 
B. H. Schmidt: He was the secretary of the company for years. 

Then he was vice-president, and president, 


B. H. Schmidt: before my brother was president. 

Teiser: And then Mr. Wuthmann was. . .? 

B. H. Schmidt: He married Mathilda Schmidt. 

Teiser: And he was an official of the company? 

B. H. Schmidt: Yes. I think he was a director when he 

retired. But he was in charge of the cor 
rugated department. I worked in that for 
qui te a whi 1e . 

Teiser: I see. There were a lot of you. 

B. H. Schmidt: Well, there were five Schmidts, you might 

say [in the second generation]. We used to 
meet every Monday and have dinner together, 
and lunch together and talk business. We had 
our own cafeteria, and we used to eat there. 

Teiser: Then you decided business matters together 

B. H. Schmidt: Yes. 

Teiser: Who had the last word? 

B. H. Schmidt: That s hard to say among Germans. Oh, I don t 
know, I guess Mr. Richard Schmidt, Jr. and 
Brother Carl, they used to fight it out. 

Teiser: When Max Schmidt, Senior, was alive did he 
control things very closely? 

B. H. Schmidt: Yes, he did. He was quite an executive. 

Teiser: If you objected to something, did he listen to 


B. H. Schmidt 

Tei ser : 

B. H. Schmidt: 
Tei ser: 

B. H. Schmidt 


B. H. Schmidt: 

B. H. Schmidt 


B. H. Schmidt 

Oh, yes, yes. He d have his arguments and 
we d have ours. We got along pretty good 
though . 

Did he ever do what you wanted instead of what 
he wanted? 

Well , it s hard to say. 

Can you explain where the Mutual Label and 
Lithograph Company fits into the picture? 
Let s see. There was the Schmidt Lithograph 
Company. They consolidated with Di ckman-Jones 
and H. S. Crocker.* Well, there were the 
three companies, and they called it the Mutual 
Did H. S. Crocker merge only a part of its 

Yes. They kept their stationery business. 
Was Schmidt Lithograph Company s entire print 
ing plant put into Mutual? 

It was the same company, only it changed its 
name . That 1 sail. 

I see. How did it get separated then, again? 
Oh, I couldn t say. I don t know. They dis 
solved somehow or other. They, after that, 

The date of this consolidation is given as 
1899 in Since I856 f a brief chronology of the 
H. S. Crocker Company compiled by Frederick E. 
Keast and privately published by the H. S. 
Crocker Company in 1944. 


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became the Schmidt Lithograph Company. 

Then H. S. Crocker went into its own printing 

and 1 i thographi ng? 

They went into their own business again. 

What happened to Di ckman-Jones? 

It dissolved; it disappeared. 

Was Max Schmidt head of Mutual Label and 

Lithograph Company? 

He was head of it at the time, yes. 

Who represented Crocker in the organization? 

I couldn t say. I wasn t in on that top stuff, 

I was working in shipping, and that was it. 

I finally got into the plant as superintendent 

of the lithograph department. And I finally 

got the whole business. 

You were superintendent of the whole plant? 

Yes. Factory superintendent they call it. 

What year did you become superintendent of 

the lithograph department? 

Oh, I don t know. Maybe ten years after I 

started, something like that. 

Then when did you become superintendent of the 

whole plant? 

That was sort of automatic. There was no 

special date set for it. I just worked into 

it. Nobody wanted it, I guess. 


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Somebody must have thought you could do it. 
Well, it was quite interesting. 
It must have been a great responsibility. 
Yes. You had to be on the job all the time. 
Did you move through the plant constantly? 
I walked seven miles a day. I had one of these 
pocket speedometers and I figured it out one 
time. I walked about seven miles. Up and 
down, over and across. You see, we had two 
buildings, with a connecting bridge. And it 
kept you going . 

They were both three-story buildings? 
No, the other one was a four-story building. 
At that time we bought out the Galloway Litho 
graph Company and took over their seed bag 
division. They used to make seed bags, you 

That was how you got into the seed bag 

The block on which the company s building stood 
in San Francisco. . . 

It was a residence originally. It was a 
private residence. Here is a picture of it in 
The Log of a Cabin Boy. 

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Oh yes. 1899. And the Schmidt Lithograph 
Company building was built in 1900, on the 
whole block, according to this. 

Where was the seed bag company? 
They were on Folsom Street at the time. When 
we bought them out they moved Into our build 
ing, across the street. 

Before 1899 there was another location, wasn t 
23 Main Street. 

Lithography and Letterpress Techniques 

Teiser: During your years in production, were there 

many changes in equipment? 

B. H. Schmidt: No, other than improvements in the presses. 

We bought more presses, and they printed more 
colors at one time. Years ago they only used 
to print two colors at a time. Then they made 
it three, and they made it four, made it five. 
I guess now it s maybe six colors at one time, 
one operation. 

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Oh yes, yes. We had that before we had what 
we call aluminum presses, that had aluminum 
plates. Stones were the first thing, litho 
graph stones. 

About when did you get out of the stone litho 
graphy operation? 

Oh, I couldn t say. But still after the fire 
we were lithographing from stone. 
The size of the stones was limited, was it not? 
Yes, but some of the bigger stones were 28 
by 42. 
That large! 

Yes. But not too many of them. The little ones 
were used as originals. The original copy was 
on the small ones, then we pulled impressions 
off of that and made it onto the big stones. 
It was repeated? 

Yes. Like letterheads. There were always 
four on a sheet. 

Did you use them for labels that way? 
Yes. Only a little bit, because it was too 
slow an operation. The stone presses were 
very slow, they had to come back and forth, 
back and forth, for every impression. When they 
got the other presses, the rotary presses, it 
was much quicker. 


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After the fire you ordered all new equipment? 
We had to replace a lot of it, yes. 
Did you save any of the old stone presses? 
Well, we rebuilt some, yes. 
Were the aluminum presses offset or direct 
1 ithography? 

That was direct. Offset came in later. Off 
set means to print from one plate to a blanket, 
then to a sheet. 

But the aluminum presses printed directly? 

Is the image raised or is it sunk? 
It s etched in. 

Then there were big changes, really, in litho 

Well, yes. It kept improving. Now they do 
a lot with the camera. They photograph right 
on the plate. No more hand work. 
Was there much letterpress printing in the 

We had our own department for letterpress 
printing. We printed from electrotypes. In 
fact, we had our own electrotype department. 
We made our own electrotypes. We did quite a 
little of that because at that time we used to 

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print Sano labels and we printed the Ligget 
and Meyers tobacco wrapper. We had to deliver 
a mi 1 1 ion a day . 
Was that for cigarettes? 

Cigarette package wrappers , yes . It was the 
old Chesterfield brand. They were done from 
a letterpress. 

When did you print labels by lithography and 
when by letterpress? 
Both at the same time. 
How did you decide which? 

It all depended. Sano labels were usually a 
red background we printed from type, from 
electrotypes. But, then, after a while we did 
lithographing and didn t do any more printing. 
You did some commercial work too? Some general 
commercial printing? 

A little, not too much. Mostly lithograph 
commercial printing on a lithograph press. 
Your letterpress was mainly, in the days before 
offset lithography, devoted to labels? 

What kind of letterpresses did you have? 
They called them Miehle, Miehle presses. We 
had two-color and single-color, one color and 
two color. 

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Did you run those labels in very large sheets? 
Yes, they ran pretty good sheets. Roughly 
about 44 by 64. Good sized sheets. 
You said you went into 24-sheet posters. 
About when was that? 

Oh, quite a while ago. I don t know how we 
got into that. I think it was right after the 
fire. We used to make what you called one, 
two-sheet posters, and finally got into the 
big boards on the highway, 24-sheet posters. 
You see them all around now. 
What did they use to transfer the image? 
A camera, a reproducing camera. 
What kind of presses were the posters printed 

They were printed on these aluminum presses, 
as they call them, on big plates. 
Was the major part of the work labels though? 
The major part, yes, I d say so. Of course, 
we did a lot of cartons, raisin cartons, things 
like that. 
Little boxes? 

Not corrugated? 

Corrugated too. These raisin boxes, they were 
made out of regular cardboard, 24-point 

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cardboard. Regular raisin board we called it. 
What kind of presses were used for those? 
They were printed on lithograph presses. 
Also on printing presses. Some jobs we could 
put either way, it didn t make any difference. 
What size sheets were they on? 
They were about 40 by 60 s, something like 
that. It all depended on how many, if the 
order was for one million or ten million, or 
whatever i t was . 

You must have had a big warehouse. 
We did. We had quite a big warehouse. But 
now, say this Ligget and Meyers, Chesterfield, 
that went out daily, so we didn t have too much 
warehousing there. They just took them away. 
They [Ligget and Meyers] were right down at 
Third and Townsend [streets]. 
What about your paper stock? Did you season 
your paper? 

Yes, and we coated our own paper. We bought 
the paper in rolls and put a coating on it 
and ran it through a calendaring machine and 
made it nice and shiny. 
And then sheeted it? 

And then sheeted it. The girls had to sort it 
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I was amazed, when I was looking at the photo 
graphs, at how many women worked in the plant. 
We had quite a few. The bindery was one of 
the big departments. And years ago we had hand 
feeding machines; the girls had to do that too. 
They had women press feeders? 

The bindery department was mainly cutting and 
scoring, and so forth? 

Well, bookbinding. We did a lot of checkbooks, 
like checkbooks for Crocker First National, and 
all those banks. 

A little bit, not too much. That was more of 
a specialty of somebody else. 
The seed bag business was interesting, wasn t 

Yes. That was quite a job. We made an awful 
lot of different kinds of seed bags. Many, 
many kinds. 

Did you use the same stock cuts for various dif 
ferent companies? 

Well, yes. A lot of them; we just reprinted 
the name on the bottom. 
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Whole sheets, yes. Die cut them, you know, 
so that when they put them in the folding 
machine they d come out as an envelope. Seed 
bag envelopes we called them. 
Were they lithographed? 
Yes. Yes, we lithographed all that. 
Would you ever lithograph, say, a lot of lettuce 
vignettes, and then keep them on hand to re 
print as orders came in? 
No, we didn t do too much of that because 
that was kind ofyou didn t know what the 
people wanted. Oh, we had some; stock labels, 
we called them. We used to make a lot of 
tomato labels and reprint the names on those. 
What about wine labels? 
Wine labels we did quite a little too. 
Did you have stock vignettes for those? 
Well, we had some, yes. But lots of it was 
privately made, for themselves. 
Did you design them? Did you have an art 
Oh yes, we had our own sketching department. 


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The Company and Its People 
How many people, at the most, worked in the 

Oh, roughly about 500, four to five hundred. 
And how many of those in production? 
Maybe four hundred, say. A hundred were in 
office and such work. We had quite a lot of 
people. That included, of course, our branch 
offices. We had a branch in Los Angeles, in 
Chicago, New York, Seattle, Texas, Florida- 
different places. 
Those were sales offices? 

Yes. And the plant in Honolulu; that was a 
lithograph plant there too. 
Was it established by Schmidt Lithograph or 
was it bought from someone else? 
It was a little outfit. I don t know how we 
ever got into it. We called it the Honolulu 
Lithograph Company; we didn t call it Schmidt 
Lithograph . 

About when did you get it? 

I think it was after the fire. I don t remem 
ber all these dates. We still own it. It s 
still known as the Honolulu Lithograph Company, 
subsidiary of the Schmidt Lithograph Company. 

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That was your only other manufacturing plant? 

About how large an operation was that? 
Oh, maybe they might have had about a hundred 
people, fifty or a hundred. 

Was there some connection between that and one 
of the newspapers in Hawaii? 

Well, indirectly. The manager of the Honolulu 
Times-Star was a fellow named Paul Mcllree. 
He finally got connected with us in the busi 
ness. He is now retired, but he was our 
representative down there. 
When did you retire? 

About six years ago. I was there fifty-five 
years, I guess. 

That s a wonderfully long career, isn t it? 
Well, we stayed longer than we should have, 
I guess. [laughter] They have started a 
pension plan now. 

Hadn t there been one before recently? 
Not too much of a one, no. 
Did all the members of the family have an 
interest in the company? Did you all own some 
Yes. My son was not interested in it. My 

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daughter never worked there, but they finally 
got some stock and kept that. 
All of you who were in the business have a 
little stock? 

Oh yes. We had this little group of five 
Schmidts. We called ourselves the Schmidt 
Investment Company. [Laughter] My two 
brothers and myself and two cousins, Richard 
Schmidt, Jr. and Max H. Schmidt? We used to 
pick up the stock where we could; if it was 
lying around loose, we d pitch in and buy it 
and divide it up into five pieces, and let it 
go at that. 

People outside the family owned it? 
Oh yes, quite a few. We had maybe fifty, 
sixty stockholders outside the company. 
Were they friends and business associates? 
Mostly that way, yes, mostly through friend 
ship. It was never on the market. 
It seemed to me that I heard something about 
somebody coming from Germany at one time--maybe 
it was Mr. Max Junior s brother, coming here 
with some money and lending itbuying stock. 
Max s brother. I don t know. He was quite 
friendly with my uncle that was Kurt Schmidt. 

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He was in the paper business in Germany 
That was what sort of got him connected out 
here. But he didn t live here very long. 
Max Schmidt Senior s brother-in-law, Mr. 
Rahsskopff, was he a very inventive man? 
He was very mechanical. He didn t really invent 
things, but he made a lot of improvements on 
machinery in the factory. 
Had he been in the printing business? 
No, he was in the watch business, clocks and 
watches. He never knew anything about the 
printing business, but he got into it very 
quickly and was a good mechanic. 
He was Max Schmidt Senior s generation? 
Uncle Max s. He was the oldest of them all. 
He was quite elderly. 

It was a very close company, wasn t it? 
More or less. And the relationship was close 

And the employees too were. . . 
Yes, they had a lot of relatives in the com 
pany. Did you see Mr. Herman Diedrichs? 
I m going to . 

He was in the lithograph division as superin 
tendent of the printing plant. He was there 

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for a long time. Practically the only job 
he ever had in his life, I guess. His wife 
was one of the press feeders and he fell in 
love with her. [Laughter] A lot of that was 
goi ng on a 1 1 the time . 
I want to ask you about the women press 
feeders: was there a transition that was 
gradual from women to men in the pressroom? 
When they did away with the feeding, when they 
became [developed] automatic [mechanical] 
feeders, why the women lost their work. 
I see. There were still men who did some press 
feeding after that, though, weren t there? 
Oh yes, a few; apprentices and things like 

Then didn t feeding later become more a job 
for apprentice pressmen? 

Well, yes, but the girls only fed the presses 
by hand; it was hand feeding. 
And then they also did paper hanging? 
They did the paper hanging, yes, and the sorting 
and picking of the sheets out as they were 
printed. They had to be inspected too. 
What date did you retire, incidentally? 
Gee, I don t know. . .19. . . That ll tell you. 

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Oh, you ve got a watch. Inscribed "Presented 
to Bernhard Schmidt 5/6/1905-1955, by the 
employees of Schmidt Lithograph Co." Isn t 
that a fine watch. That was presented to you 
when you d been there fifty years. 
Yes, I retired in 1959. 

Were there women still doing some of the paper 
sorting operations when you retired? 
Oh yes, they did that right along. 
I suppose that comes under bindery work? 
Bindery work, yes, cutting and binding. 
They no longer were hanging paper, though, were 

Yes, we had to hang sheets too. 
Still, in the 1950 s? 
Yes, they had to be seasoned. 
Was that done by women, still? 
No, not so much, no. 
By men by then? 

There was another general question I had. I 
wanted to try to place Schmidt Lithograph 
Company in relation to other printing and 
lithography companies, nationally. Were there 
some in the East that were similar? 


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Oh, yes. 
What were they? 
Stecher Company 
In Rochester, New York? 

In Rochester. Then there was the--oh, gee, 
in Boston there was a big lithograph company. 
Was there one in Baltimore? 
Oh, yes, a lot in Baltimore too. Baltimore 
was quite a lithograph city. I can t think 
of the names right now. 

Did Schmidt Lithograph Company have equipment 
or do things in any way that was very much in 
advance of any other similar company in the 
c o u n t ry ? 

No, they were all about the same. They all 
kept it going about the same. 
I think that these pictures of the Schmidt 
Lithograph Company will be of interest, par 
ticularly because Schmidt must have been quite 
typical of a group of large printing and litho 
graphing firms of its period. 
Oh, yes. There were quite a few. Schmidt 
was only the tops of all of them, I guess. 
In size, and quality, and everything else. 
Was it the top, or was it one of, say, three 
or four, or what? 


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One of three or four. The Stecher Company 
I remember, and Rochester Lithograph Company. 
I can t think of them. 

Each of them, I suppose, had its own indiv 
idual modifications. I think you said that 
Mr. Rahsskopff had made some modifications 
of equipment at Schmidt. 

He was quite a mechanic, yes. He did a lot 
of things around there that nobody else could 
do. Mechanically he was very brainy. 
Did he make modifications of equipment that 
were unique to that plant? 
Well, in a way, yes. But I can t think 
just what he specialized on. 

Mutual Label & Litho. Co. 

1903 Photograph Album 

Mrs. Stewart Morris gave me two albums and a 
number of single photographs for the Bancroft 
Library. I ll show them to you and ask you to 
identify the people and equipment in them. 

This album is lettered on the cover: "Mutual 
Label and Litho Co., San Francisco, Cal . 
Christmas, 1903." It belonged to Mr. Rahsskopbb. 
It s got his name in it and the date "Aug. 1905." 
I numbered the pages. Here s page 1. 


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That s the original building. It was dyna 
mited and blown up, destroyed in the [1906] 

That was at Bryant. . .? 

Second and Bryant. This is Second Street. 
Second Street on the left, and Bryant on the 
right. Page 2. 

Those are the directors. That s my father, 
Mr. Richard Schmidt. 

He s second from left. Is this Mr. Rahsskopff, 
at the left end? 

That s Mr. Rahsskopff. That s Mr. Max Schmidt. 
On the right end? 

Yes. Mr. Henry Wehr. He was secretary. 
Second from right. 

And that was Mr. Jones. He was a vice-president 

Third from right. Did he come in during that 
Mutual Label and Lithographic Company consol 

This is page 3. 
That was Mr. Max here. 
With his cap on [second from left]. 
Yes. That s Frank Gamble. 



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In the foreground. 

Yes. That was my father, I guess [right of 

center pillar]. And that s the secretary. 

Is that in the office? 

It s in the office, yes. This is all down 

in this original building. 

Yes. I guess everything in this book is. 

All before the fire. 

Page 4. 

That s just another picture of the office. 

Page 5. 

That s my father. 

At the right? 

Yes. That s Mr. Max H. Schmidt [Max Schmidt, 

Junior] . . . 

Next to him [second from right]. 

Mr. Rahsskopff. . . 

Next to him [third from right]. 

That s Oscar Heath. 

To the left [left end] . 

And that s Jake Zellerbach.* 

With the derby? 

Yes. He was selling paper. 

Do you know who he is, sitting there [third 

from left]? 


See also comments of Max Schmidt, Jr. and Herman 
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No, I don t. 

Page 6. 

It s hard to tell these fellows, but they were 

all artists. 

This was the art department? 

Art department, yes. 

Page 7. 

This was the paper stock department. We used 

to have to lay the sheets out in trays, get the 

air into them. 

Is that what that girl is doing? 

Yes, she is putting them in and traying them 

and all that. 

Page 8. 

This is the bookbinding.* 

What are those wheels? 

That s a saw, rotary saw. 

Here s page 9. 

There s your lithograph stones. That s the 

machine we used to polish them. 

The round thing? 


What department was that? 

We called that the lithograph department. 

Plate graining. 


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That s the same thing. That s quite a big 

stone there. 

What s it on? 

It s on a handpress. We put it through and 

then it d pull an impression. 

You didn t use this press for production? 

No, not this one. This was only for getting 

impressi ons . 

Page 1 1 . 

That s the same thing. This is where we made 

the plates and put them on big plates. 

And these are stones again, aren t they? 


You didn t make aluminum plates there? 

No, not here. These were all stone. 

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Same thing, only around the corner. 

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Same thing. There are some pretty big stones. 

Page 14. 

That was a small lithograph press. That s a 

girl feeding [at left]. That was a small offset 

press [right].* 

See also description of this photograph in 
interview of Herman Diedrichs. 


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Those are printing presses. 

I guess they were Miehles, yes. They would 
run through and back. 
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Now here we come to the bigger presses. 
Aluminum presses we called them. Just the 
plate was aluminum. We had a pretty good- 
sized sheet there, see? 
Yes. About how big is it? 
About 40 by 60. 
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Lithograph stone presses. There s one of our 
posters . 

In the background. Oh, yes. Two of them. 
Page 18. 

Same, stone presses. 

Do you recognize the man in the suit [right]? 
Yes, my father. He was very methodical. They 
always knew when he was coming around. Then 
they d start working. [Chuckle] So methodical 
you could set the clock by him. 
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That s the aluminum plate. It s fastened on a 
cyl inder. 


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Stone presses. 

Page 21 

Stone presses, see them? 

Oh, yes. Page 22. 

That s what they call the cutting and creasing 

presses; you know, for cutting cardboard and 

cartons. The presses go up and down like that. 

A whole row of them? 

Yes, a whole row. 

Page 23. 

Stone presses too. 

Page 24. 

Same thing. 

Page 25. 

This is the cutting department. See, there are 

the cutting machines. 

Yes, to the left. 

You d have to square the sheets up and cut them 

very exactly, to fit the cans and things. 

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That s where the girls used to do what we 

called squaring the sheets, so that we could 

cut them. They had to be all square. They 

couldn t be crooked. 


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press identifications. 


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You cut them in stacks? 


Are those dies on the wall? 

Yes, those are different steel dies. 

Did you do much die cutting of labels? 

Yes, yes. Quite a little. 

Where was the die cutting press then? 

Pretty close to here. 

Here s page 27. 

There s the machinery. 

Are those die cutting presses? 


Page 28 is. . . ? 

This is the gluing machines. There s a glue 

pot there. We had a girl who folded the sheet 

over and ran it through. 

What did you use gluing machines for? 

Gluing the cartons together, you know. 

Oh, I see. 

Old-time foreman. His name s Pierce. 

With the moustache there? 


Page 29. 

This looks as if it might be the machine shop 

or something. Oh no, this is where we made the 


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electrotypes. You can t see much of an 

operation there, but that was it. 

Page 30. 

This is the machine shop. We did our own 

repair work and things. 

Page 31 . 

That s the electrical. 

The electrical department? 

Yes. Motor room, generators. 

Page 32. 

That was part of the cutting department. 

See, here s where the labels were all stacked 


Oh yes, to the right. 

The girls would have to wrap them up in packages 

of a thousand. 

Oh, this is the way they delivered labels? 


Page 33 this is. 

This was more or less the packing department, 

I d say. You see, these were all stock labels 

that we had here that were stored there. Well, 

we called it packing but it was under the 

shipping department. 

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That was a varnish machine. It would var 
nish the sheets. They would go up and go down 
the track here and then come back on the tape 
here; then we d take them off. 
They were drying on those lines? 
Yes, a hot box. 

You varnished after you printed? 
Yes. That was the last operation before we 
cut them. 
Page 35. 

That s the gathering of the calendars. They d 
pick them up as they went along. 
Did the Schmidt Lithograph Company put out a 
calendar every year? 

Yes, but for other people too. This happened 
to be our own, I think. 
Page 36. 

This is the ink department. We used to grind 
our own inks . 

Schmidt Lithograph Co. 
1909 Photograph Album 

This is the second album. It s stamped on the 
cover "Schmidt Lithograph Co. Second and 
Bryant Sts . San Francisco. 1909." It be 
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the pages of it. It has some captions, but 

anything you can add to them. . . This is 

page 1 . 

That s the building. 

They were still using horse-drawn drays. 

Yes, they used those for quite a while. I 

guess it s the building after the fire. The 

building before the fire had a skylight in 

there. I don t know whether it shows in 

there or not. 

Page 2. 

This is after the fire. We bought this lot 

here. The tower building is in there [now]. 

What street is this? 

Second Street. 

Page 3 is. . .? 

Same thing. 

Is this canopy still there? 

No. That s been torn down. The entrance is 

down here further. 

This is page 4. 

This is the director s room. They re all in 

here. That s Mr. Max, Mr. Chickering. 

What had he to do with the company? 

He was one of the directors. 

He was an attorney, was he? 


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Yes. Chickering and Gregory. 
He was not in the management of the company? 

How did he happen to be a director, do you 

Oh, I don t know. I guess he was Mr. Max s 
friend in the Commercial Club. And then Mr. 
Moffitt of Blake, Moffitt and Towne. He was 
in the paper business. And E. L. Hueter with 
the Bass-Hueter Paint Co. 

How did he happen to be on the board of direc 

They were very close; my uncle and Mr. Hueter 
were very close friends. 
Your uncle Max? 

Yes. They both lived in Mill Valley. 
I. L. Borden; he was one of the directors. 
He was not in the company management? 
No. And my father. My cousin Dick. 
Your cousin Dick was the one who later became 
president of the company? 

And died some years ago? 
Did he directly succeed your uncle as president? 

March 7, 1958. 


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I think he did, yes. I think he did. Then 
my brother came in after. 

Your brother Carl became president next? 

Yes. Then his son, Lorenz Schmidt, became 

the president after Carl Schmidt. 
Here s page 5. 

That s Mr. Schmidt, Mr. Rahsskopff, Mr. 
Richard Schmidt, my father; these are the two 
Traung brothers. Charlie Traung was manager 
of the art department. Louie Traung was 
manager of the printing department. Fred 
Brune was an old-time bookkeeper. 
Had he been with the company for many years? 
Many years, yes. And Schoof--he was estimat 
ing department. 
Was he related to anybody? 
No, just a German friend. 
And Mr. Miller? 

Louie Miller, he was secretary. 
Was he also a regular member of the firm? 
Yes, he was a director. Then he, after a 
while, got his own Miller Lithograph Company. 
So he left, and also the Traung brothers left 
What were the Traung brothers like? 

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Oh, they were well-liked. Personally I liked 

Louie better than Charlie. I told you the 

story about Louie coming to my uncle to get a 

job. And he said, "Sure, go ahead, go to work." 

The next day the brother came in, the twin 

brother. He said, "I want a job." He said, 

"I hired you yesterday. Go to work." 


What did they start out doing? 

They were just fly boys and apprentices. They 

learned the trade. 

Was one of them more able than the other? 

Yes, Louie, whom we all thought was the oldest. 

[Chuckle] He had the brains. 

I see. What did Charlie have? 

He had a lot of hot air. [Laughter] 

Was Louie a good mechanic? 

Yes, he was a good mechanic. 

Were they liked by your uncle? 

Oh, yes. They were pretty well liked all 

around . 

Here s page 6. What office is this? 

That s the main office. 

Who are those men? Do you recognize any of them? 

One might have been Mr. Schoof. 


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The man with the moustache? 

Fred Brune. That s all I know. They were 

just office boys in there. 

Here s a girl peeking out behind there. 

It might have been Gussie Tanforan. 

How do you spell her last name? 

The same as the race track people. She was 

related to them somehow. 

Oh, I see. Was she the one who could swear 

like a trooper? 

Oh, yes, she was pretty good. 

Page 7. 

That s the main office. That s my uncle and 

Mr. Miller. 

Your uncle is in the foreground to the right. 

Mr. Miller is directly behind him at the desk 

My father. 

Your father is third back. 

Dick Schmidt. 

Dick Schmidt is to the right of your father? 

Yes. That s Mr. Schoof. 

Mr. Schoof is fourth back. 

And my brother Carl there. 

Carl to his right. 

And there s some of the office girls. That 

is May Cardozo. 


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May Cardozo is to the lower left. 

She married this fellow. Richard Schmidt [Jr.], 

Were there lots of marriages within the firm? 

Not too many, no. There s Edna Maker. 

She s at the typewriter, to the left. 

Yes. She married a fellow named Black, Bill 

Black, in the factory. I can t recognize any 

more . 

Here s page 8, east side of the office. 

That s the other counter. See, there s Mr. Max 

in there. 

Oh, with the cap on, yes. Did Mr. Max often 

wear a cap? 

Yes, he always wore a cap. He and Mr. Rahsskopff 

Mr. Rahsskopff wore a skull cap. 

Why? Didn t he have any hair on his head? 

Oh, just a matter of habit, I guess. That s 

Bill Reed, I think. 

At the second desk in the center there. 

He married a girl from Oakland. 

Here s page 9. Sketching department. What 

did they do? 

They designed the labels and made the sketches. 

Just the roughs? 

No, finished sketches. See, they had all those 


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drawings up there. If a man wanted a tomato 

label they d have to design it for him, or 

colored lithograph of some kind. 

Were they well-paid men? 

Yes, very highly paid. 

Page 10. Chemical laboratory. I didn t realize 

you had one. 

Oh, yes. That s Doc Jaggard. His name was 

Jaggard. We called him "Doc" because he d take 

care of the emergency accidents in the factory. 

What was his regular duty? 

He was a chemist. 

What did he do? 

Designed, or made up the inks, put in the right 

materials for inks, adjusted the colors, and 

all that. 

Were there any things other than inks in the 


Mostly inks. 

Page 11. That s everybody. 

That s myself in here. 

At the right end of the front row. 

Here, with the pocket, yes. That s my uncle 

Max, my dad, and Mr. Rahsskopff, Mr. Andy Hynes . 

Mr. Rahsskopff with the little hat in the group 

at the right end of the second row. Your father 

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with the long white moustache there? 
That s my father. 

Then to the left and a little behind is Mr. 
Rahsskopff. To the left of him some one in 
overalls. Then . . . 
Mr. Max. 

Then a little to the left, in the front tow, 
with your hands in your pockets is you. 
Yes. And the Traungs are in here. 
The Traungs are behind you? 

Yes. That s one of them. Over here is brother 
Max, Henry Wehr, Fred Brune. 

These are on the left, standing off toward the 

And German MaxT These are all the bindery 
girls in here. . . 
In the front row. 
Page 12, the artist department. 
Those are all artists. 

Are those the people who did the final render 
ings after the sketches? 

After the sketches were made, they separated 
the colors and made the plates. They designed 
the labels after the sketch artists would 
give them an idea of the first ones, and they 
then reproduced them in here after. 

Max Schmidt, Jr. 


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Page 13. Metal engraving department. What 

kind of plates were those? 

Those are zincographs and electrotypes. 

Wasn t Schmidt Lithograph a pioneer in the use 

of zincographs in this country? 

Well, might have been, might have been. 

By your day, I suppose, everyone was doing it 


Yes. We did quite a little of it. 

Did the men in this department do hand work? 

Did they do hand correction? 

Well, they did engraving, metal engraving. 

This was done by hand? 

Some of it, yes. And some of it was done by 

acid, etching. 

Who s this fellow in the center here? Do 

you know him? 

That s Mr. Arnold Iken. 

The fellow in the center in the dark moustache 

Here s page 14. Is this he too, at the right? 

That s he again. That s the same department. 

What are these? 

These are all original plates. 

In the cabinet? 


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What are all these pulleys up there for? 
There are routing machines; they routed the 
different work out. 

Oh, yes. The pulleys are running them. 
Page 15. The transfer department. 
That s the lithograph end of it. These are 
all lithograph stones. 
What was transferring? 

Transferring was taking the original and putting 
it onto a bigger plate, or a bigger stone. They 
pulled the impressions, then put them onto a 
stone, and then pulled another impression off 
of that. 

They actually transferred an image onto the 

How was it etched onto it? 
it was just etched on, period. 
By acid? 

Yes. There was the foreman, George Caldwell. 
In the apron in the right foreground? 

Page 16. 

Same thing [as page 15]. You see, there s one 
of the originals, on stone. They take the 


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impression. If they needed a big sheet and 

had six impressions on there, they had to pull 

six impressions, put that down on their [big] 

stone six times. 

So they d run it six up then, in the end? 


What is this in the foreground? 

This was a hand press. Impressions were pulled 

off of this hand press. If you wanted six, you 

had to pull six impressions to put on the stone 

Then the six were transferred to one stone. 

One stone that was put on the press and printed 

Page 17. 

That is the same thing. This is the polishing 

machi ne. 

To the left. 

Between each operation the work had to be 

polished off, and the next job put on. 

Each stone was polished then? 


These in the foreground were big, weren t they? 

They were pretty big. They couldn t be lifted. 

It took about six men to lift the things. We 

had a portable table that carried them around. 

What is this in the center right? 


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That s a hand press. 

With the stone on it? 


What is he doing? 

Pulling impressions, I guess. 

It s not a production press? 

A proving press. 

Page 18. 

These are the marbles that we used to polish 

the plates. That just moved around, and those 

little lead balls just polished the thing off, 

and cleaned it, and etched it, and we put it 

on for the next job. 

Aluminum plates? 


When did they come in? 

They came in quite a while ago. I don t know. 

Were they in use when you came into the plant? 

Just about, yes. 

They put the plate down flat in this box-like 

apparatus and then they put these metal balls 

on top? 

Marbles . 

And then how were they moved? 

The tables shake. And then the marbles would 

move around and polish it all off. 


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Were they glass or metal? 

Regular marbles. 

How did they get them out of that tray then? 

Oh, I don t know. They shoveled them out. 

How often could an aluminum plate be used? 

Oh, quite a long time. It doesn t wear out 

at all . 

They weren t used flat, were they? 

They were curved on a cylinder; you could bend 


Here is page 19. Book bindery. 

That s the cutting room. They cut the labels. 

That is the foreman. 

In the middle. What was his name? 

Arthur Bray. Father William and son Arthur 

worked in the same department. 

What is this? 

That s a cutting machine. These are the girls 

that did the sorting. 

Let s see, page 20. Book bindery, south side. 

That s where they sorted labels; and wrapping. 

From off the cutting room they d wrap them up 

in thousands . 

Is that another cutter in the background? 

That was a press for padding things. They d 

put it in there and it would press it down and 

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it would glue them up, the sheets, then lift 
the press off and slice them in pieces. 
My, you had pretty girls in the plant. 
Yes. This girl was one of the Traungs. A 
daughter of Louie Traung s. 
This girl in the foreground at the right? 
Yes. That was the forelady. 
To the left in the front. The Traung girl s 
the one with the bow under her chin. Did she 
continue to working for Schmidt Lithograph 
after the Traungs set up their own company? 
No, no. She didn t stay very long. They all 
get ma-rried and then they quit. 
Page 21 . 

That s the job printing. 
What sort of thing did they do? 
They did letterheads and reprints. 
What is a reprint? 

A reprint is when they have the label and they 
want the man s name on it, why we reprint it 
in there. 

You put it in a blank space on there? 

If you get the wrong number of ounces and 
you black it out, is that reprinting too? 


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Yes, you can call it reprinting. 

Page 22, carton department. Is this carton 


This is cardboard. There is a die machine. 

You see, all the waste is on the floor there. 

They die-cut the different cartons out of the 


Are those Miehle presses that they are using 

for it? 

These are Miehles, yes. 

They were run with those overhead pulleys? 

No, that was just because you had one motor 

here and transferred it down on the floor. 

Both of them were run off one shaft? 


Page 23. Carton department. 

Same thing. 

What kinds of cartons did you make? 

Raisin cartons, anything; candy cartons, any 

old thing. 

Could you handle heavy board? 

Oh yes, 24 point. Mostly it was 15 point board 

Page 24, carton department. Folding and 

gluing . 

That s the same thing. 

Was there a lot of hand work involved? 

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Quite a little, yes. You had to fold them and 
run them through the machine. 
This is a folding machine to the right? 
That s one of them, yes. There s another one 
here . 

To the left. Did they have to be hand fed? 
Well, they go down on a chute, like, and the 
machine picks them up. 
Page 25. The factory office. 
The factory office. That s where I used to 
hang out. 

Is that your cousin Max, Junior? 

To the left. 

Max, Junior; Mr. Rahsskopff; Oscar Heath; oh, 
I don t know, one of the office boys. 
From left to right that is, with the office boy 
behind Oscar Heath. You were factory manager? 
I was in the shipping office first. Then it 
became factory office. 
So that was your permanent office? 
Yes. Oh, we moved around different times. 
Page 26, the shipping office. Who is the 
fellow in the derby? 

That s Mr. Louis Hartmann. He was the boss of 
the shipping department. Gertie Gilbert. 

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Who s the fellow in the center? 
I can t think now. 
Page 27. 

These are the roustabouts, shipping clerk s 
staff. That s Mr. Hartmann. 
In the derby again. 
Yes. That was the watchman. 
To the right. 

What s this machine? 

That s a time clock. Everybody had to take 
a card and put it in there and punch the time 
clock. We had those all over the factory. 
Page 28, offset press department. 
Yes, those are the offset presses. They are 
the same thing as the lithograph press only 
they printed from the plate to a rubber 
blanket to a paper. 

Was this quite new at this time, in 1909? 
Yes, fairly new; yes. 
Who is this? 
That s my father there. 

With the moustache, standing over the press. 
Mr. Rahsskopff. 
With the little cap. 


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What kind of a press was it? 
A smal 1 Harri s . 

Are there others behind it, there, like it? 
There are a lot of them. There were two or 
three down in there. Just take a picture, and 
they all stop to have their picture taken. 
What size was the press, do you remember? 
This was only a small one, this was only about 
28, 42, flatbed size. Then they went to 32, 
46 and 44, 64, and so on. 

Page 29. Three-color and two-color aluminum 
presses. That was direct lithography, not 
offset, is that right? 

That was offset. Offset means that it goes 
from a plate to a blanket to a sheet. They 
call that offsetting. 

I thought the aluminum presses were direct 
1 ithography . 

Some of them were, yes. But these were not. 
These are offset? 

Offset presses, yes. You see, they were quite 
long, because the paper was fed in from here 
and run all the way down. 

Page 30, single-color aluminum presses. Were 
they direct or offset? 


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They were all offset. My father, with 

the moustache here. 

Oh, to the left. Mr. Rahsskopff and your 

father. Page 31 . 

Those are just the aluminum presses, as we 

called them. But they are all lithograph 

presses. And there were quite a few of them. 

And these were offset too? 

No, these were direct. 

This is your father again, in the foreground? 

Yes, and Mr. Louis Traung. 

To the left of your father, in the foreground. 


Page 32, bronzing. 

This is the bronzing machine. We had Chinese 

men, Chinamen to feed the bronze. 

It was kind of dirty work, the bronzing, 
kind of dusty and dirty. They did nothing but 
just take the excess dust of bronze off of the 

What did they do with it then? 
Saved it. 

Put it back and on the next? 

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Letterpresses . 

And you did label work on those? 


Is this one of the Traungs again, in the 


That s one of the Traungs. And George Hilde- 

brand, the foreman. 

In the apron? 


Which Traung is that? 

Louie. Charlie didn t do anything in the 

pressroom. He was in the transfer room. 

Page 34, pressroom center aisle. 

This is a big skylight here. We had all the 

presses here. 

On the two sides--! see. What s this in the 


That s a pile of paper that s automatically 

fed; as the sheets go down in the press the 

load goes up until it s empty. 

That was one of the early feeders, wasn t It? 

They still have them. 

Were there many automatic feeders in use 1n 


Oh quite a few, yes. 

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Page 35, north side of general pressroom. 
Those are printing presses. 
Mostly, yes. 

Page 36, general pressroom again. 
That s the same, the pressroom. 
Is this a printing press in the foreground? 
Oh, let s see. Yes, I guess it was. See the 
plates around down underneath there? 
Oh yes. 

Page 37, embossing department. 
We embossed labels. 
This is Mr. Rahsskopff again? 
Mr. Rahsskopff, yes. 
He must have been all over the plant. 
He was all over, yes. 
Page 38. 
Same thing. 

That s a hand platen embossing press. You see 
the sheet was fed in there and then pressed 
against the back of it, and then taken out 

And to the right? 
Cyl inder presses . 


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Were they too used for embossing? 

You used a die? 

Yes, a die, and made a counter die of pre 
pared mixture of litharge and glycerine. That 
got hard enough so it would offset the impres 
sion that was embossed. You know the embossing 
was sunken and the counter die was the opposite 
Did you make your own embossing dies in the 
Oh, yes. 

Page 39, electrical department. 

That s my brother Max. 

To the left. 

Yes. And "Dirty-faced Mike" we called him. 

To the right. What was his job? 

He was one of the firemen, or whatever he was. 

Page 40. 

That was the boiler room. 

Did the power to run all those presses come 

from the boiler room? 

Some of it, yes. A lot of it was electricity? 

Did you have your own electrical plant? 

No, we got it in from the outside. 

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Indirect too. We had both. 
Page 41, the machine shop. What was that 
used for? 

It was used for repair work and different things 
that we had to do. There is Mr. Rahsskopff. 
That s the foreman. 

The sixth from the left is the foreman, in an 
apron and jacket. 
I can t think of his name now. 
Page 42, electrotyping . 
That s where we made the electrotypes. 
It looks like dirty work. 
It was . 

How did they make them? 
It was poured. It was a lead mixture. 
Page 43. 

Electrotyping, same thing. 
Did you run much of your work from electro 

A lot of it. All the printing was done from 
electrotypes. Of course the lithographing 
was done from a lithograph plate. 
Page 44. 

Here s where we hung the paper for seasoning. 
That s where the girls hung up the sheets. 


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Box making and carpenter shop. 

Were those boxes that you made commercially, 

or for your own use? 

The cartons were made for shipping and things 

like that? 

For your own use in shipping? 


You didn t, at that time, make cartons for 


Wooden cartons no. But lots of paper cartons 

Page 46. 

That was the cutting department. These are 

all cutting machines in there. 

Page 47, die cutting. 

We used to have dies that we d put on top of 

the sheet, and the press would come down and 

cut the die and cut the labels, you see. 

Little heart shapes, or anything. 

That was hand work, wasn t it, making those 



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The varnish machines . 

Did you varnish all the labels? 

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A lot of them, yes. Of course a lot of them 
weren t varnished. 

Were the varnishes formulated in the chemistry 
lab too? 

That was a regular varnish, prepared varnish, 
made by the ink people. The sheet would come 
in here and go around and go through a hot 
box [to be dried] way down here, and then 
we d gather it up down there. 
This is a hot box, this wooden structure on 

Yes, about a block long. Here s the varnish 
here, see? 

Right at the front. This front roller is 
applying the varnish? 

Yes. That sheet was there just to--I don t 
know why, to keep the dust off, I guess. 
In the foreground there. 
That s Henry Hageman, the foreman. 
In the foreground. 

Page 49. Corrugated paper department. 
We made our own corrugated. 
That was a gluing process? Laminating? 
Corrugating was taking two pieces of paper 
and putting a wrinkle in between and pasting it 
together. We used to make millions of corrugated 
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Was there automatic equipment? 

Oh sure, great big long presses. 

Is this just where the pieces were finished? 

You can t see any of them in the picture? 


Page 50. What was that in the middle there? 

That piece of equipment. 

That s for die cutting. 

Here s 51. 

That was one of the corrugated machines. 

This is what corrugated board was made on? 

Yes. You take it out and press it down through 

here . 

It went in this front end, to the left, and 

out the far end, to the right. This is a belt, 

is it, an endless belt that is sagging under 


Yes. That s where the sheets were laid when 

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Miscellaneous Photographs 

Now I m going on to the loose pictures. This 

one marked on the back "Wm. Hoi 1 i ngsworth" 

I m going to number 51-A. 

That s a varnish machine. You feed the sheet 

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down underneath here and it would come up, 
get varnished, and go on through a hot box. 
This loose picture numbered 51-B: "Schmidt 
Lithograph Co., Aug. 1914. 3600 Imp. per hour." 
It says on the back that it came from "Leipsig 
Li ndeman. " 

You d lithograph the sheets and then run them 
through this bronzing machine. They d come 
out here, where the bronze would just stick on 
the wet part of the sheet. It was one opera 
tion. We had to bronze it while it was wet. 
This is another 1914 photograph of the bronzing 
machine. I ve numbered it 51-C. Who are 
those men standing there? 
That s Andy Hynes and the foreman. 
Andy Hynes to the left. What are they bronzing 
there, labels? 

Yes, just putting the gold on. 
This blue one must be of another bronzing 
machine? (51-D) 

Yes, bronzing machine, that s it. 
This 51-E must have been an ad for a piece of 
equi pment . 

That s Mr. Max s signature [initials on back]. 
Oh, it is? "March 14, 1916." Was this a piece 
of equipment that you were going to buy? 


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I guess that s so. 

What is it? 

It s an offset press. 

I see, and it was apparently to be paid. . . 

Five per cent cash on acceptance. 

Do you think they got it? 

Well, I guess so. 

These last pictures were laid into the backs 

of /two albums, with a blue print of a United 

bronzing machine and a folder for a Smyth 

gluing and pasting machine. Now I ll go onto 

the other loose photographs. This is number 


This is a Christmas party of some kind, a 

dedication or something. I see myself in 

here . 

You re in the foreground, third from the right, 

in shirt sleeves? 

Yes. Arnold Iken, Andy Hynes. 

Two over from you, to the left. 

This is 52-A, a banquet. 

A salesmen s banquet, a salesmen s convention. 

There s Mr. Max, my dad, Doc Jaggard, Andy 

George. Dick Schmidt. 

Dick Schmidt is to the far left? 



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Next to him, second from left is ... 

Mr. Schoof. Mr. Caldwell, Mr. Ed Lenz. 

There s Mr. Miller. That s myself. 

You re fourth from the right of those stand 

Yes. That s my brother Carl. 

Behind you and to the right. 

There s Mr. Wuthmann. 

Mr. Wuthmann is second from the right of those 


Yes. Clarence Bessing, Ben Dixon. 

This is picture number 52-B -- Max Schmidt. 

Does that look like him? 

Oh, you betcha. 

With his cap off. He didn t mind having his 

picture taken, I gather. 

No, he didn t mind it. 

Was he vain? 

No , no . 

Number 53. 

That s the anniversary. I mean during the 

war. These are the nurses. 

Where was this? 

This is German -- some hall in the city. 
It s dated November 29, 1919, and says "In 
honor of our soldiers and sailors." 

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It might have been German House. These are 
all employees. 

Was it a party for those who returned? 
Yes, something like that. We had a lot of 
these parties. These are all nurses, all 
factory girls [in the front row]. 
Did many of the people from Schmidt Litho 
graph Company go into the war? 
Oh yes, quite a few. I think we had forty or 
fifty, I guess. 

Did you have difficulty operating during the 
First World War? 

No, it was all right. It wasn t too bad. 
Did you give them all their jobs back when 
they returned? 
You betcha! 

Did any of the men in the family go into the 
servi ce? 
No, no. 

Here s number 54. 

That s another one of the foremen meetings. 
Henry Hageman, Louie Miller. That s an old- 
time one. 

Fortieth Anniversary of the company, it says. 
Yes. George Hildebrand. That s myself again 


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You re right about in the center of the back 

row there. 

Ed Pierce, Joe Westphal , Mr. Schoof. Mr. Max. 

StandingMr . Max in the center, to the left, 

at the head of the table. Who s on the right? 

I couldn t say. 

Who s to the left of him? 

That s my dad. My brother Max. . . 

Second from the left, in the front row at the 

table, your brother Max. 

Arnold Iken, Andy Hynes, Tony Miller, George 

Caldwell, Mr. Schoof, Mr. Olsen. 

These were the executives of the company, 

were they? 

Mostly foremen and assistant foremen. Factory 

building there. 

Oh, that s a model of the factory building on 

the table. 

Yes. We went to a lot of trouble for the 

banquets . 

Here is 56. "Schmidt Lithograph Organization, 

July 6, 1928." Max Schmidt right in the center, 

is that right? 

Yes. And there s Mrs. [Marie] Dufour. 

To the right of him? 


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What was she? 

She was a nurse. 

In the factory? 

Yes. Helen Barbour, Alice Burke. Oh, I 

can t think of all their names. My brother 

Carl. Vic Olsen. Here s all the bindery 

girls. They had their own uniform. 

Oh yes, in those kind of smocks in the front 

row at the left there. 


And these were the office girls, in dresses 

at the right? 


Here are some bindery girls, in smocks .further 

to the right? 

Yes, those are bindery girls. Mrs. Jennings, 

she was an old-timer. 

Is she this woman with the rather longish 

skirt and the middy collar, in the first row, 

to the middle right? 

Yes. That s taken right in front of the 

factory door. 

They must have had to build a grandstand 

there to get everybody in. 

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They did. They put that up, and just 
rotated right along. That s myself in here. 
Oh, you re the furthest one to the left. 
While they were taking the picture, I d run 
over and get my picture over here. 
Are you at the right too? 

You didn t run fast enough that day? 
I didn t run fast enough. 
Did you really do it sometimes? 
Oh yes, it can be done, easy. 
This is No. 57 . 
That s an offset press. 
This is 58, dated 1952. 

This is a calendaring machine. We used to 
take the paper and press it through and make 
it shine. 

Here s 58-B, same date. 
That s the same thing. 

Is this the delivery end we re looking at? 
I think so. It looks like it. I think so. 
Here s 59. 

The paper came in cases like that, some of it, 
We d ship out in cases like that. 
And 60. 


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That s an offset press, two-color. 

These look like later pictures. No. 61 is 

dated 1943. 

That s a coating machine. That s where we 

coated the paper. We d run it through and put 

a coating on it, and then run it down here 

and dry it and roll it up again. 

Did you use much roll stock? 

Oh yes , qui te a little. 

What for? 

That s the way it came. And that s the way 

we delivered some of it. It was easier to 

handle . 

Some of it came in sheets though? 

Oh yes . 

What presses did you use to print on the roll 


Oh, regular rotary presses. 

Letterpress or offset? 

Offset, I guess. You see, we delivered a lot 

of these in rolls, to different companies. 

We sent it back east and they d chop it up 

themsel ves . 

Oh, I see. Did you do much work for eastern 


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Some, not too much. 

Did the bulk of your work go into the western 
food industry, could you say? Or the major 

A little of everything. All kinds of canned 
foods . 

Did can labels make up the most part of your 
work, the largest part? 

Well, quite a little of it. A lot of it was 
cartons, you know, boxes. 
Did you continue doing many wine labels? 
We did a lot of wine labels, all the time. 
This is Number 62. 
That s the same thing. 
As 61 . Number 63. .. 
The same thing. 

Oh yes, another print of 61. Number 64. 
That s a calendaring machine too. 
I guess 65 is the same thing, isn t it? 
The same thing. 

Sixty-six. There are a lot of prints of this, 
I guess. And 67 is similar to 62. 
Yes, they re all the same. 

All calendaring. Sixty-eight and sixty-nine 
are duplicates too. Here s a new one, 70. 

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That s a two-color. 

Harris press , yes . 
Who are the men there? 

That s my brother Carl [striped suit]. I guess 
that s the agent [on top]. 

Let me see then. From left to right is. . . 
Max H. Schmidt, Morton Schmidt, Carl; I don t 
know who he is, the salesman; and Mr. Diedrichs 
Was that just when that Harris two-color was 
installed do you think? 

I don t know what year. A new two-color off 
set, yes . 

Number 71 is called "Second Lithographing 
Pressroom. . .seed bag lithographing." Is 
that right? Are those seed bags? 
That is the seed bag division, yes. We made 
a lot of seed bag cartons, paper. 
What kind of presses were used there? 
Those were the same, the lithograph presses. 
Number 72 is labelled on the back "New two- 
color Hall aluminum direct litho press, July 

That s my writing. That s a new press. 
What was it used for? 

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Labels, cartons, anything. 
Who were those fellows, the press crew? 
Yes. There s "Fat" Anderson, the pressman. 
To the left. 

These are all his helpers. I ve got on 
there "Direct Litho Press," that s not quite 
right. It s. . .well, call it direct; we 
called them offset. 
It is offset, is it? 

Seventy-three. . . 

That s the artists room. They all had their 
own little pigeonholes. 

That s Mr. Max s press. That s the hand press. 
Oh, that s his original hand press! 
Yes. He used to pull impressions on it. 
I wondered if there were a picture of that in 
here. That was his first one. How in the 
world did it work! 

It turned around. The stone was laid on in 
here. It would come down with the impression, 
and he would roll it off and pull his impression 
off. It went back and forth on the table. 
Is it still in existence? 


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Yes. It s right in the front office now. 
Here s 75, ink making department. 
Yes. That s where we ground our own inks. 
Seventy-six. What was that, do you think? 
Mr. Max s birthday, maybe. 
What s that over the door? 

That s an elk s head that was put up there for 
an ornament. This is the lobby of the down 
stairs. That s Mr. Max s statue in there. 
Seventy-seven must have been another celebration 
That s one of his birthdays, yes. 
Another of Max Schmidt s birthdays. Seventy- 
eight is what? 

That s while they were building the building, 
I guess. 

What bui Iding was it? 

Across the street from the old building, 461 
Second Street. All concrete. 
The next block over? 

The next block over towards the waterfront. 
And picture number 79 is the same building, I 
see. Number 80 says "Lithographic Pressroom." 
Yes, that s the old lithographic pressroom. 
In the old building? 

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Here s a poster, that s a regular poster. It 
looks like he s jumping out at him. There was 
one like that with Mr. Max. It was a joke. 
Mr. Max must have been full of jokes. 
Yes, he liked them. 
Were you all full of jokes? 
Oh, not too much. 

That was the poster room. These 24-sheets, we d 
have to lay them on the floor to see them. 
They usually put electric lights on them. 
In 81 they were displayed on the wall. Here s 

That s the same thing. 
Here s another view of it, 84. 
These are all posters. 

Eighty-five is similar. Eighty-six is what? 
Corrugated rolls. That s where we stored our 
rolls of prepared paper, and we d take them 
down and cut them apart, and coat them, and 
all that. 

When do you think these pictures were taken? 
Oh about, I don t know-- 40, 38, 35. 


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Same thing. They should have dates on these. 
Eighty -eight. 

Another [of the] poster room. 
Was this a kind of projector to the right? 
I don t know. 

Eighty-nine is, I think, very interesting, 
in the light of later history. 
That s Louis Traung and Charlie Traung, the 
two brothers. It was the first four-color 
[offset] press. It was theirs. 
Oh, it was their factory. Did you install a 
four-color soon after? 
About the same time. 
This is 90, dated 1930. 

That s Mr. Max s birthday, I guess. It s 
his office. 
And 91? 

This is the lobby. 
Ninety-two. . . 
Factory, pressroom. 
This is 93. What is that? 
Oh, just the ink room, ink mill. 

That s an old-timer. This is the old litho 
graph plant down at 23 Main Street. 
Oh, it is? 

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Yes. We had a gallery around there and had 
the job printing presses in here, with the 
paper stock up in here. 
This is 95. The same plant? 

The Main Street plant. Maybe all these are. 

The same thing on the other side. 
And 97. 

The same thing. 

There are some duplicates. Ninety-eight. 
Same thing. 

Ninety-nine, 100, 101, 102, 103. 
They re all the same. 

I have heard that the Traung brothers left 
Schmidt Lithograph Company under something 
of a cloud. 

I don t think they left with any bad feeling 
of any kind that I know of. It had been their 
mind to get into [their own] business. 
I think I heard somewhere that they had been 
taking payoffs from an Ink company or something 
of the sort. 

That they might have done, yes, but. . . 
They were clearly good friends of the Schmidt 
Lithograph Company later, according to the 


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1931 photograph [No. 89]. 
Yes, they were. 

These are some miscellaneous pictures. I was 
looking at them this morning with Mr. Died- 
richs. This is number 148. 
That s Max Schmidt [Jr.] . 
Who was Mr. Stieffel, named on the back? 
He was in charge of a lithograph shop back 

I see. It says Chicago. 

I can t think of the name now. Mr. Stieffel 
was the manager of some lithograph shop back 
east, I guess. 

I see. Did Schmidt Lithograph Company own it? 
No, no. Just another company. 

This is picture 149; Max Schmidt is in the center 
Do you recognize the other two men? 
Oh, gee. I guess they re both lithographers, 
but I can t say who. 

Here are a couple of old-timers; Number 151. 
Mr. Schoof. 
What did he do? 

He was an estimator. He passed on prices and 
things . 
Was he the one who had been a schoolteacher? 

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He was a professor at San Jose High at one 
time . 

How did he happen to give up teaching and 
take to estimating? 
I don t know, I couldn t say. 
This is 152. 

That s Arnold Iken. He was a metal engraving 
foreman . 

This is the one that I was interested in. It 
says, "Here is a picture of the Lustour Plant 
enlarged from Otto Schoening s snapshot." This 
is picture 153. What was the Lustour Plant, 
and why was everyone interested in it? 
I don t know anything about it. Never heard 
of it. 

Apparently people in the company were supposed 
to look at it, according to the memo attached. 
This is number 154. It s dated 1953 too. Do 
you know what that was? 

Allen Chickering s golden wedding anniversary, 
I guess. It doesn t mean anything. 
Just a little memento made up for him by the 
This is 154-B--in Honolulu. 


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That s my brother Carl. 

To the right. 

Carl Schmidt. I don t know who the other 

f el low is. 

Here s 155. These are all apparently In 

Honol ul u . 

Yes. I imagine that s the varnish machine. 

And 156. 

That s Paul Mcllree. He was the manager of 

our Honolulu plant. 

To the right. 

I can t think of who this other fellow is. 

Here s 157. 

That s the Honolulu plant, I guess. 

Schmidt Lithograph Company in Honolulu? 


And 158. 

That s Carl Schmidt and his wife and Richard 

Schmidt*and his wife. She s dead. 

Carl Schmidt is left, Richard Schmidt right, 

and their wives are next to them. That was 

taken in Hawaii, wasn t it? 

I imagine so. All the leis and stuff. They 

made quite a fuss about it. 

Here s 159. 

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That s the lithograph plant too. 

The Honolulu Lithograph was different from 

Schmidt Lithograph s plant in Honolulu? 

No, it was the same thing. In the beginning 

it was Honolulu Lithograph, then it turned to 

Schmidt Lithograph. 

Was this the same building that we saw back 


No, that s a two-story building. I guess 

that was revised from this. 

Here s 160. It looks like a beach scene. 

That s a beach scene, Honolulu, Waikiki. 

161 is. . .? 

Same thing. 

This is 162, it s dated 1937. 

These are artists down there. I don t know 


This must be a whole series of pictures of 

that company, 163, 164. Do you think this 

was the building? 

I was never in there. I never was down in 

Honolulu while they had the company. I was 

there before. When I got through school I went 

to sea. I went to Honolulu three or four times 

You went to sea before you went into this work? 


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What an interesting time you must have had? 
It wasn t bad. 
How old were you? 
Twenty-one or two. 

That s a good experience for a young man, isn t 

Yes. That was sort of a custom, after graduat 
ing from Lick you had to go to sea. It was 
just the thought. 

You studied engineering at Lick, did you? 
We called them machinists. It was a machine 
shop. I graduated from the machine, the 
mechanical end of it. 

Here s 165. I guess these are all pictures of 
that plant. 

These are all Honolulu, yes. 
No. 166. Is this a Harris? 
I guess it is, a two-color Harris. 
This is 170. Do you know who that is with 
Mr. Max Schmidt? 
That s Paul Mcllree again. 
Number 1 71 . 

That s Honolulu Lithograph. 
This is 172. 
Packing room, shipping. 

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Number 173; this was the plant again. 
What is this? 

That s where they hang up the paper for 
seasoning. See, it s all in the little racks. 
Inside those metal enclosures. 
Yes, and they blew air into them. 
These are the fans, in the foreground? 
Yes. It went right straight through. 
Did they have to do that differently in Honolulu 
than they did here? 
No, we did it the same way. 
Number 174 has on the back: "This press is 
paid for." Whose signature is that? 
Carl , C. R. Schmidt. 

The same signature is on picture 175. "This 
press not accepted yet." 

That was during the consolidation, I guess. 
They had to put prices on the machines. 
Consolidation of Honolulu Lithograph and 
Schmidt Lithograph? 
Taking it over, yes. 

Who had started Honolulu Lithograph Company? 
How did the company happen to buy a plant 

I don t know if we were there first or riaht after 
that. I couldn t say. We just wanted to be 


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in the business. 

Number 176. 

That s the same thing, more presses. 

No. 177 and 178. 

These are all offset presses. 

Are they all Harrises, do you think? 


No. 183. 

Wrapping department. 

No. 184. Is this the delivery end of a 


Yes. That would catch the sheets and pile 

them up. 

No. 185. What are those racks used for? 

Oh, that s terrible. We wouldn t let them 

have that that way. They had to be taken out 

and al 1 squared up. 

Are they printed sheets? 

They are printed sheets. 


That s coming out of the varnish machine. They 

had to catch the sheets as they came out. That s 

what made them so ragged. 


Cutting and wrapping. 


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188 is the pressroom again? 

That s right. 

189--this is 1937. 

That s the paper as it came in. We used to 

ship it down to Honolulu. 

In boxes? 

Crates . 

Did you ship it from here? 

Yes. We coated it and cut it and stacked it, 

and sent it to Honolulu. Of course, they 

bought some uncoated paper too, for regular 

labels . 


That looks like the transfer room. That s 

were they made the originals, then put them 

on big sheets and put them on the press. 

191 . 

That s a bronzing machine. 


That s where the girls are squaring the sheets 

You see they take them and square them; then 

they put them right over on the cutter and 

chop them up. 


That s the same. 


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What s that machine? 

That s likely a varnish machine. 

194 is. . .? 

That s a cutting machine. You see where they ve 

got the labels? 


The girls would wrap them up over here. 

195 is quite a group. 

They are all Honolulu people except my 

brother Carl and Dick and Paul Mcllree. 

Let s see Paul Mcllree is on the left end? 

Yes, then Carl Schmidt and Richard Schmidt. 

Those are one, two, and three in the foreground, 

on the left. 

He was manager of the plant. 

The man in the suit and a flowered shirt? 


Number 196 is dated 1955. These are the same 

three? Carl Schmidt. . . 

Ri chard 

And Paul Mcllree. 

Where did you get these pictures? 

These are all from Mrs. Norris. 

Oh, Stewart Norris. 

Yes. I think her father had gathered them up, 

or they d just accumulated over the years. 


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Yes, they just accumulated. They are left 

over from Dick Schmidt s estate, I guess. 

There are a couple of more general questions 

I had to ask you. Did you have typesetting 


We had a lot of type. We had a typesetter. 

We set type. 

By hand? 

Hand operation, yes. 

You didn t have any Linotypes? 

No, we didn t. 

When you had text matter to set. . . 

We d have it set outside, in another company. 

Who generally set type for you? 

Oh, I don t know; I ve forgotten now. 

Did you have good typesetters? I notice there 

aren t any pictures of people setting type 

in the albums, and I wondered about it. 

There was one fellow named Jury; he was the 

foreman of the type department. Richard Jury. 

How many people were in the type department? 

He only had a helper and himself. We didn t 

do too much of it; a lot of it we sent out and 

had done outside. 

Then I wanted to ask about the company s 

exhibit in the 1915 Exposition. What was that 


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Lithograph work. 

Did you have any equipment running at the 


No, just reproductions of the work we had been 


I think Mr. Diedrichs said that you also allowed 

the public to come and look at the presses 

running . 

Oh yes, at times. We d take school children 

at times too. 

There s a big book that was given to the 

Bancroft Library by the company. Signatures 

of people who, I guess, visited the 1915 

exhibition. Do you remember seeing that? 

The guest book. 

Was that at the exhibit at the Exposition? 


It was not kept in the plant? 

We kept it after we were through with the 

exhibition; we took it down to the plant. 

That was a special book just for who visited. 

What had been on the block where the second 

building was built--the one completed in 1925? 

That was Lachman [and] Jacobi wine company 

that was in here, across the street. We tore 

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down what was left of Lachman, Jacobi ; that 
was just a brick building. I think Lachman, 
Jacobi burned down during the fire. 
How did you happen to build that big a build 
ing at that time? 

We needed it. We had the corrugated in there 
[looking at a photograph of Plant No. 2]. 
On the first floor? 

Yes. The paper stock was all in here. 
On the second floor. 

Then the seed bag was on the third floor. The 
transfer room and the lithograph transfer 
department were on the fourth floor. 
Where i t was 1 ight? 

Yes. We had good light all around the building. 
Does it cover the whole block? 
Yes. We now have a bridge across. 
To the old building? 

When they merged the two companies recently, 
how did they fit all the equipment in there? 
You mean the Stecher-Traung-Schmidt? 

We had more room than we needed at times. They 
[Stecher-Traung] disposed of a lot of their old 
equipment and put the rest of it in this building 


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Where did they put their big roll-fed press? 
That s in this building on the ground floor. 
This building had a big basement too. 
This booklet that Mr. Diedrichs lent me, put 
out when the new building was dedicated, looks 
as if it had been got out by the employees. 
They supervised it. 
Where was it printed? 
Printed out of the shop. 
Who do you think set the type for it? 
Oh, they maybe had it set up outside. 
There must have been a lot of family feeling 
among the people who worked for the company. 
They were all quite friendly all the time. 
We never had many rows. 

Did Max Schmidt, Sr., create that atmosphere 

Oh, maybe a little. I think it grew up with 
the juniors . 
Your generation? 
My generation, yes. 

Did any of you in your generation ever expect 
to do anything but work at the Schmidt Litho 
graph Company? 

Most of them worked there all their lives. Of 
course, some of them didn t go Into the 


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company. My son never was in the business. 

He wanted to be an architect and a contractor 

and a builder, and that was it. We didn t 

coax him either. There s too much of fathers 

making their sons go Into their own business. 

To me it isn t just right. 

This memorandum of 1953 that we were looking 

at before-- [attached to photograph number 153] 

I was interested in some of the namesfiisted 

on it]. Who was 0. Schoning? 

Otto Schoning? He was the head of the seed 

bag company when we bought it. 

And he stayed with the company? 


What did he do? 

He was one of the vice-presidents and managed 

the seed bag division. 
Who was G. Taylor? 

George Taylor. He was head of estimating and 

all that. 

Who was Mort? 

Mort Schmidt was Richard Schmidt s son.* 

And what did he do. 

He was secretary of the company. 

And E. F. Wuthmann? 

Richard Schmidt, Jr. s son. 

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He married Dick Schmidt s sister, Mrs. 
Wuthmann now. He was head of the corrugated. 
L. Schmidt was Lorenz Schmidt? 
That s my brother Carl s son. He was a sales 
man . 

And this is Verne Bonette, is it? 
Verne Bonette, he was one of the office clerks. 
J. E. Hamilton? 

John Hamilton. He was in sales. And Harry 
Anderson, he was in purchasing. 
And B. Hamann? 
He was in estimating. 
P. Grain? 

Percy Grain was then the head of the personnel 
department . 
B. D. Dixon? 

Ben Dixon, he was one of the sales managers. 
Guy Street. 

He was in advertising, order department. Norman 
Hamilton was my assistant. The shipping depart 
ment was Carl Barthels. 
He was head of the shipping department? 
Yes. Ernie Wuthmann, Jr., he was in the art 
R. Duerson? 

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Duerson, he was in selling; a salesman. 
And Stewart Norris, what was he doing then? 
He was under me. 

I guess Dolly Ohls was somebody s secretary? 
Yes. She was D1ck Schmidt s secretary. 
I m very grateful to you for your patience in 
going over all this. It certainly is kind of 
you to give the time and the effort. 


Partial Index 


Alaska Packers [Association], 18, 46 
Amalgamated Lithographers Union, 25 
Anderson, Ed ("Fat"), 118, 119, 135, 211 
Anderson, Harry, 137, 230 
Anderson, Henry, 13 
Armstrong, Jack, 94-95 

Bailey, Dick, 93, 112 

Barbour, Helen, 206 

Barnes, Jack, 112, 125, 131 

Barthels , Carl , 230 

Bass-Hueter Paint Company, 176 

Bastain, George, 36, 100, 101 

Beach, Clarence, 81, 106 

Bergk, Billy, 69, 72. 73, 101, 102, 111 

Bessing, Clarence, 203 

Black, Bill 180 

Blake, Moffitt and Towne, 176 

"Block Department", 45-46, 48-50, 77, 78 

Bolls, , 112 

Bonnette, Verne, 137, 230 

Bookey, Bill , 128 

Borden, I[vy] L., 86, 176 

Bouquet, Gus , 73 

Bowen, Charlie, 

Bowles, 119 


Caldwell, George, 13, 14, 63, 64, 94, 96, 184, 103, 205 

Cardozo, Herb, 130 

Cardozo, May, 90, 91, 179, 180 

Chickering, Allen, 217 

Chickering, William H., 86, 89, 175-176 

Crain, Percy, 137. 230 

Crocker Bank, 6 

Crocker Company, [see H. S. Crocker Company] 

Crocker First National Bank, 156 

Crowley, Joe, 106 

Desmond, Josie, 76 

Dickman, Joe, 93-94 

Dickman-Jones Company, 6, 10, 36, 147-148 

Diedrichs, Deborah, 80 


, Marti 

n | 










William ( 








, Bill, 




, Fred, 







, Louis 






, Alice 




Diedrichs, Herman, 20-139, 161-162, 210 

Diedrichs, Mrs. Herman, 28-29, 30, 51-56, 134, 135, 162 

Dixon, Ben D. , 137, 203, 230 

Donahue mansion, 35 

Doyle, Bill , 134, 135 

Duerson, R., 138, 230-231 

Dufour, Marie, 205-206 

Durham, , 99 

Earthquake of 1906, 27-33, 142-144, 166 
Ellis, Dick, 16, 77 
Emporium [department store] , 22 
Evans, Arthur, 114 

Farrell, Charlie, 16, 77, 79, 104-105 
Freeze, Eddie, 75 

Galloway Lithographing Company, 37-38, 116, 149, 150 
Galvin, Jack, 43, 45, 91 
Gamble, Frank 11, 59, 166-167 
George, Andy, 202 

Gilbert, , 80 

Gilbert, Gertie, 190 
Gillespie, Frank, 72 

H. S. Crocker Company, 4-5, 6, 147-148 

Hageman, Henry, 83, 84, 108, 199, 204 

Haker, Edna, 180 

Hami Iton, John E. , 230 

Hamilton, Norman, 138, 230 

Hamman, B. , 137 , 230 

Hancock, Bob, 82, 106 

Hand transferring, 63-68 and paaeim 

Hart, Dan, 72, 74 

Hart, George, 112 

Hartman, Arty, 111, 112 

Hartmann, Louis, 98, 190, 191 

Heath, Oscar, 11, 12, 98, 167, 190 

Heinrich, Dick, 13, 62-63, 93, 94, 111 

Heppert, Harry, 87 

Hueter, E. L. , 86, 89 

Hildebrand, George, 48, 103, 104, 194, 204 

Honolulu Lithograph Company, 158-159, 217-224 

Honolulu plant, Schmidt Lithograph Company, see Honolulu 

Lithograph Company 
Honolulu Times-Star 159 
Hughes, Clarence, 118 
Hunt, Haywood, 2 
Hynes, Andy, 36, 74, 86, 99, 100, 181, 201, 202, 205 


Iken, Arnold, 92-93, 113, 136, 183, 202, 205, 217 
International Club of Printing House Craftsmen, 2 

Jackson, Scotty, 99 

Jaggard, Belmont P. ("Doc"), 45, 91, 181, 202 

James, [W. F.], 98 

Jennings, Mrs. [E. W.] , 206 

Jones, George, 10, 36, 58, 166 

Jury, Richard, 225 

Kaiser, Charlie, 75, 76 
Klein, Frank, 14, 69 

Labels , passim 

Lachman and Jacobi , 21, 226-227 

Lampe, Bill , 71 , 107 

Lenz, Ed, 203 

Lick School , 8, 220 

Ligget and Meyers, 153, 155 

Lindecker, Charlie, 113, 127 

Lithography, direct, see Aluminum presses and passim 

Lithography, offset, 34-35 and passim 

Lithography, stone, 25, 31-32, 64-68, 150-152, and passim 

Louderdale, , 111 

Lustour Company, St. Louis, 136, 217 
Lynch, Josie, 80 

McCormick, Johnny, 75 
McGinity, Edward D., 23 
Mcllree, Paul, 159, 218, 220, 224 
McMahon, John J., 45, 83, 84 

Maloney, Mike, 117, 133 
Martin, Charlie, 63, 94 
Metzger, Adrian, 125 
Millard, "Fat" 119 
Miller, _ 93, 94 
Miller Lithograph Company, 177 
Miller, Louis, 177, 179, 203, 204 
Miller, Tony, 205 
Moffitt, James K. , 86, 176 
Monel li , Paul , 43 
Moreno, Joe, 77 
Morrison, Albert, 70 
Morrow, Bill , 12, 60 
Moyles, Andy, 12 
Mullens, Bill, 99 
Munson, John, 109, 112, 131 
Muriset, Fred, 112 

Mutual Label and Lithograph Company, 5, 6, 35-36, 56-86, 147- 
148, 165-174 


Nelson, Andy, 78, 103, 109 

Morris, Stewart, 132, 135, 138, 231 

Norris, Mrs. Stewart (Barbara Schmidt), 4, 5, 51, 165, 224 

Ny, Jules, 81 

Ny, Paul , 17, 81 , 107 

Oakland plant, Schmidt Lithograph Company, 30-34, 142 
Ohls, Dolly, 139, 231 

Olsen, Dr. , 122 

Olsen, Vic, 36-37, 41 , 99, 110, 111, 114, 118, 122, 205, 206 

Pack, Urvan, 117 

Panama Pacific International Exposition, 50-51, 225-226 

Pierce, Ed, 14, 15, 17, 22, 81, 97, 115, 119, 172, 205 

Pierce, Ed, Jr. , 119 

Plant No. 2, Schmidt Lithograph Company, 38-39, 108, 109, 

116, 212, 227 
Pohlmann, [Theodore?], 4 

Possnecke, , 111 

Powers, Dave~i 72 

Presses, aluminum, 14, 15, 16, 25-26, 31, 34, 41, 69, 

71-72, 73, 151, 152, 154, 170, 187, 192-193, 210 
Presses, Campbell, 71, 72 
Presses, Harris, 34, 35, 40, 42, 43, 50-51, 100, 113, 114, 

116, 117, 118, 132, 133, 192, 210, 220, 222 
Presses, Hoe, 73, 74 
Presses, letterpress, 18, 50, 68, 152-154 and passim. See 

also "Block Department" 
Presses, Miehle, 16, 35, 46, 50, 68-69, 77, 78, 102, 103, 

104, 153, 170, 189, 193-194, 195 
Pringle, Adam, 42, 76 

Rahsskopff, Carl, 7, 10, 11, 17, 58, 59, 89, 98, 99, 101, 

105, 106, 126, 137, 141, 161, 165, 166, 167, 174, 177, 
180, 181, 182, 190, 191, 193, 195, 197 

Ramsey, Dave, 72 

Reed, Bill, 91 , 127, 180 

Reyes, Joe, 104, 112 

Rice, 191 

Rochester Lithograph Company, Rochester, N. Y., 165 
Rolet, Charlie, 75, 76 
Row, _, 92 

St. Brendan s School, 21 
St. Mary s Hospital , 21 , 143 
Sano, 153 

Schluter, Annie, 74, 76 
Schmid, Bob, 134, 135 

Schmidt, Bernhard H. (Ben), 7, 8, 28, 56, 87, 105, 112, 114, 
124, 125-126, 133, 138, 141-231 


Schmidt, Carl, 7, 90, 116, 128, 132, 133, 144, 145, 146, 

177, 179, 203, 206, 210, 218, 221, 224, 230 
Schmidt, Mrs. Carl , 218 
Schmidt, Emile, 145 
Schmidt, Frank, 101, 102, 111 
Schmidt, Kurt, 3, 6-7, 160-161 
Schmidt, Lorenz, 137, 177, 230 

Schmidt, Mathilda, see Wuthmann, Mrs. Ernest F. Sr. 
Schmidt, Max, 3, 4, 6, 7-8, 9, 10, 11, 28, 30, 38, 58, 86, 

87, 88, 89, 90, 115, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 133, 136, 

141, 143, 145, 146-147, 148, 160, 166, 175, 176, 177, 179, 

180, 181, 182, 201, 202, 203, 205, 211, 212, 213, 214, 

220, 228 

Schmidt, Mrs. Max, 3, 7 

Schmidt, Max A., 82, 105-106, 144, 145, 182, 196, 205 
Schmidt, Max Jr. (Max H.), 1-19, 56, 59, 62, 87, 98, 113, 

114, 116, 138, 144, 145, 160, 167, 182, 190, 210, 216 
Schmidt, Morton, 116, 132-133, 139, 210, 229 
Schmidt, Richard, 10, 11-12, 13, 15, 39, 58, 59, 63, 70, 73, 

82, 87-88, 90, 99, 101, 102, 126, 127, 129, 130, 137, 

141, 143, 166, 167, 170, 176, 177, 179, 181-182, 191, 

193, 202, 205 
Schmidt, Richard Jr. (Dick), 7, 8-9, 86-87, 90, 127-128, 

145-146, 160, 176-177, 179, 180, 202, 218, 224, 225, 229, 

230, 231 
Schmidt, May Cardozo (Mrs. Richard Jr.), 218 see also 

Cardozo, May 
Schneider, Oscar, 5, 6 
Schoning, Herbert, 37-38, 39, 116 
Schoning, Otto, 37-38, 39, 116, 136, 229 
Schoof, Gerhard, 89, 90, 133, 136, 177, 178-179, 203, 205, 


Schubkagel , . 134 
Shaw, John, 35 
Siebert, Louis, 107-108 
Simonsen, George, 70, 100, 111 
Sisters of Mercy, 21 
Sloss , [Louis , Jr. ?] , 10 
Social Society, 121-123, 129, 131-132 
Soderwal 1 , Axel , 94 
Soderwal 1 , Gus , 5, 10, 94 

Stecher Company, Rochester, N. Y., 164, 165 
Stecher-Traung Corporation, 227-228 
Stecher-Traung-Schmidt Corporation, 227-228 

Stieffel , , 216 

Street, Guy, T37-138, 230 
Strikes, see Unions 

Tanforan, Gussie, 11, 179 
Taylor, George, 137, 229 
Tofanelli , Charlie, 97 


"Tower Time" 40 

Traung, Charles, 14-15, 27, 36, 47-48, 70, 73, 104, 177- 

178, 182, 194, 214, 215-216 
Traung Label and Lithograph Company, 42-43 
Traung, Louis, 14-15, 23, 26, 27, 30, 33, 36, 42, 43, 47, 

70, 75, 77, 100-101, 102, 103, 131, 177-178, 182, 188, 

193, 194, 214, 215-216 
Troll, Charlie, 75 

Unions, printing trades, 10, 23-25, 47-48, 123 
Vanderveen, Chris, 72, 99 

Walters, Eddie, 76 

Ward, Bill, 69 

Warren, Michael, Jr. (Mike), 62, 94, 95 

Wehr, Henry, 10, 166, 182 

Wempe Brothers, Oakland, 30, 142 

Westphal, Joe, 106, 110-111, 125, 205 

Willis, , 1 17 

Winberg, George, 49, 102, 112 

Wise, , 69 

Wuthmann, Ernest F. Sr. , 87, 137, 138, 146, 203, 229-230 
Wuthmann, Mrs. Ernest F. Sr. , 87, 145, 146, 230 
Wuthmann, Ernest F. Jr., 138, 230 

Zellerbach, Henry, 11, 12, 15 

Zellerbach, Jake, 167 

Zellerbach Paper Company, 14-15, 42 

Max Schmidt s 1916 New Years Card 
This is a xerox copy of an eleborate three- 
dimensional multi-colored stand-out card. 

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This is a xerox-copy of the 
1936 Stand-out New Years card 

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Biographical Sketches of Some of the Men Who Have 
Made Lithographic History. 

Thi is th< second of a <rief which will appear in thi publication. 

The fact that Max Schmidt was born in Schoenbauni, 
near Danzig, in Germany, on February 17, 1850, is im 
portant only as a starting point. At the age of 22, with 
out a word of English, he landed in San Francisco. That 
is of the greatest importance. The day he first put foot on 
California soil was the most significant in his life, for he 
insists it was California that gave him his opportunity. 

He was twenty-two, he had but a self-taught knowl 
edge of English, and he did not even know the meaning 
of the word lithography when he obtained a job as a trans 
fer man for the Daily Stock Report, a San Prancisco pub 
lication that was what its name indicated. There was just 


one circumstance that a seer might have said inclined him 
to the career he was about to embark upon and follow for 
the remainder of a long life. The boy could letter very 
neatly. All the* seven years he had sailed the seas he 
had kept a log, and its lettering the log is still in ex 
istence is very neat and precise. 

One week of gratuitous service, and at the end of the 
second Max Schmidt received his first pay $3. The $3 
a week did not interest him greatly. He had driven a 
bakery wagon for twice that amount. At the end of two 
months of bakery wagon driving he was still a bakery 
wagon driver. But at the end of two months of work as 
the Daily Stock Report s deliveryman he was beginning 
to learn the rudiments of engraving. . 

During his first year in San Francisco he worked at 
several jobs. After that first berth with the bakery they 
all had to do with printing, the making of labels and the 
like. A combination of circumstances was shaping his 
destiny. Definitely the sea was behind him now. Gone 
the old wanderlust. He liked San Francisco. He liked 
lithography. He liked the idea that he was learning a 

trade. He liked to use his hands. And he liked to use 
his wits, too. 

Came the second big date in Max Schmidt s existence, 
October 2, 1872. On that day he was let out of a job by 
Korbel Bros., manufacturers of cigar boxes, labels and 
brands. He had saved just $18 during nearly a year of 
hard work. He had felt his way in English. He had mas 
tered his tools and had built up a lot of fatih in himself. 

Korbel Bros, didn t "fire" Max Schmidt. They let 
him go, reluctantly, because they had no more work for 
him to do. Next to landing in San Francisco, rather pur 
poselessly, being let out of that job was the best thing that 
ever happened to him. 

Ten dollars of his savings went to pay the rent of a 
ten by twelve room at 535 Clay Street. He hung out a 
sign bearing the legend M. Schmidt & Co. and struck 
out in business for himself. His was a one-man litho 
graphing plant. That was fifty-four years ago and the 
seed of the Schmidt Lithograph Company, a great busi 

Up to this point we have seen Max Schmidt as a 
wideawake young man looking for the main chance. Cali 
fornia teemed with Max Schmidts lively young men 
eager to get ahead. But with his embarkation in business 
of his own he becomes an empire builder, cleaving to a 
rock bottom a lithographer s stone. 

The Sacramento River, flowing from the Sierras to 
San Francisco Bay, overflowed with salmon. A fishing 
industry was being built along its banks. The gold rush 
was of the epic past, but mining was being carried on yet 
by stock companies. The gold fever was still in the blood 
and it was not a healthy condition. People were buying 
mining stocks blindly, mining companies were being organ 
ized on wild hope. Whether there was any gold in the 
mines whether, indeed, there were any mines there was 
demand for stock certificates neatly lithographed. Many 
a promoter brought his schemes to the little establishment 
of M. Schmidt & Co., to be spread on heavy paper. 

Along with the mines were the wines. Here was a 
genuine business, just getting under way when Max 
Schmidt launched out for himself. He grew and ex 
panded as the Germans and the Italians up in the hills 
north of San Francisco harvested their grapes and pressed 
out the juice and bottled it. They needed labels for a 
product that was to take its place among the famous vin 
tages of the world, to flourish until a legalistic drouth sent 
the vintner into retirement. Schmidt became identified 
with and necessary to a tremendous industry. Up in the 
St. Helena Mountains were miles of tunnels and barrels 
filled with the juice of the grape, aging against the day of 
export. Famous names were to go forth to far tables of 
connoisseurs Asti. Italian-American, Landsberger & 
Co., Gundlach-Bundschu bottled life and effervescence, 
bearing labels printed by M. Schmidt & Co. 

Oue IKV diH-s inn make a hive single- tooled, and Max 
Schmidt did not luiild tip single-handed the Schmidt Litho 
graph ("unijuiny from a one-man concern to wliat it is to- 
<lay. Always IK- has had the co-operation of loyal work 
ers. RahsskoptT saved the house of Schmidt with his 
varnishing machine. Jiiit more than to RahsskopfF, more 
than to any other one man in. the organization, Max 
Schmidt owes success to his brother Richard, who has lieen 
a pillar in the house for fifty-one years. Richard Schmjdt 
is a quiet sort, hut a tremendously capable man, and 
for more than half a century every detail of the business 
has l>een at his fingers end. 

Without money he gave up the $60 wages due him 
when he quit his ship on December 9, 1871 Max Schmidt 
cast his lot in the land of opportunity, made the most of 
things and grew with the West. He profited by change 
of location, by the creative genius of others, and developed 
considerable on his own hook. That he grew and pros 
pered was but meet and natural, for by his hard work, 
his grit and his faith he became an important cog in 
the great wheel of progress. 

Ruth Teller 

Grew up in Portland, Oregon; came to the Bay Area 

in 1932 and has lived here ever since. 

Stanford, B. A., M. A. in English, further graduate 

work in Western history. 

Newspaper and magazine writer in San Francisco since 

1943, writing on local history and economic and 

business life of the Bay Area. 

Book reviewer for the San Francisco Chronicle 

since 1943. 

As correspondent for national and western graphic 

arts magazines for more than a decade, came to 

know the printing community. 

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